What Do You Expect?

May 21, 2013 | by: Grant Blankenship | 0 comments

I have wondered about the 10 days between the Ascension of Jesus and Pentecost. In the first chapter of Acts, Jesus had told His disciples to wait for the coming promise; the Holy Spirit. But Jesus had not said when that promise would arrive. I can imagine that the shock of Jesus' resurrection had begun to wear off after the disciples had been with Him, on and off, for approximately 40 days after His resurrection. But I wonder about those 10 days.

I can imagine the disciples being very excited and vigilant the first couple of days after Jesus ascended. They had some things to do that might have kept their minds off of trying to understand what Jesus meant. After all, they had about a days journey to get back to Jerusalem. No doubt they had to tell many people what they saw. Scripture says they spent some time selecting 2 nominees and praying about which one God wanted to replace Judas. I can imagine that they began to pray steadily about a week into it being, perhaps, unsure of what Jesus had meant. After all, the idea that Jesus wasn't going to be who the disciples thought He was going to be was certainly more evident to them now than when they began their relationship with Him.

But still, the 8th day, the 9th day and however long on the 10th day before the Spirit came must have been tremendously anxious days. By the time just before the Spirit came, the disciples must have had little on their minds except the anticipation of Jesus' promise. I can also see how they were, at the very least, becoming anxious about it. "Did we hear Him correctly?", "Is this another one of those things with a hidden meaning?", "He said to wait for the promise. So, surely He meant it would be here soon. Right?".

Then we read that the Holy Spirit descended like a mighty rushing wind and with tongues of flame. What an event that must have been to experience. I am always curious why certain analogies are made in scripture. The descriptions by those people who experienced amazing manifestations of God that were described as best as possible by what they knew. But we know that those were just the best words and descriptions they could come up with. For example, mighty, rushing wind; pillar of fire and smoke; a burning bush that was not consumed; creatures with faces "like" eagles, oxen or men. I wonder how we might describe in our best words the coming of the Holy Spirit? A freight train, a nuclear bomb, a hurricane. All similarly insufficient but the best we could come up with according to our experiences. A mighty rushing wind was the best words and experiences they had to describe what was something other than this world. Never the less, over the course of those 10 days, they remained; waiting for the promise.

Did they expect what actually happened?

How could they? How can someone expect something which they have never experienced? How can an Amish know what to expect from driving a convertible or walking on the moon? Or how can a woman from a secluded Taliban village know what to expect if she were to visit Las Vegas?

How often we expect God to act like man and not like God. To accomplish things like man would and not like God would. To solve a problem with the logic that we would use to solve a problem. The ultimate submission that we can offer is submission to the sovereignty of God. To have faith that His plan will be worked out according to His will and it may very likely have very little to do with what we understand or can even comprehend. That His plans, while they are greatly affecting our life at the moment, might not be resolved during our life.

That is one of the amazing gifts that is brought to us by our comforter; our counselor. This is one of the great paradoxes of our faith. That we can have hope, peace, joy, understanding and expectation of things of which we have no concept. Our peace while we are waiting in that upper room of life for what might seem like years or what may actually be years, is that God is sovereign. The working out of His plan will more than likely have very little to do with our understanding but it is right. It is loving. And it is done just the way He desires it to be done at just the right time for it to be done. We simply have to be ready for His voice to ask us to be a part of His plans.

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