Human beings can wait a long time when they have a good reason.
If a thrilling roller coaster is at the end of the line, we can wait. Some people wait hours for tickets to a concert. Farmers wait, and wait, and wait for rain to come — or to stop.
And, for a few hours last week, thousands of red-clad fans waited in line have college football players sign their name with Sharpie markers.
Welcome to fan day for the local sports team a few miles down Interstate 80. It’s a time for fans of all ages, colors, and lifestyles to cram into Memorial Stadium with anything signable, and wait in line for hours. The waiting is the hardest part, but it doesn’t come without a lesson.
While my boys were hunting other autographs, I held their place in line waiting for a certain quarterback. It was the longest line in the stadium, filled with a wide range of people from across the midwest. We were a diverse lot but we had one thing in common: we wanted to see No. 2. And we could see him, as we snaked our way across the field for 70 minutes.
It took a minute, but seeing my boys’ faces light up at the end was worth it. They will cherish the memory, the photo and, of course, the signature for years to come.
I hope they also cherish the age-old adage that good things come to those who wait. We may not like it but waiting is a part of life. It’s also part of the life of faith.
According to the Bible, Jesus promised to return to earth. For the last 2,000 years or so, Christians of all kinds have been waiting to see Him face-to-face. We all have one thing in common: we want to see him. Trouble is, we can’t.
That’s a tough selling point for Christianity. If Jesus really is alive and was raised from death, why can’t we see Him? Wouldn’t a public appearance add to the buzz and silence the skepticism? Think about the lines that would form for just a few seconds to stand and click photos with the Messiah.
What if Jesus is more visible than we realize?
As the body of Christ, the Christian church is supposed to write a living autograph on human lives all over the world. Yes, there are times when the church makes God’s signature seem unreadable. But while we wait to see His reality, we can look around at creation and see signature moments from God on every sunset, every blade of grass and every drop of rain.
If you see those things through eyes of faith, waiting changes. We may not see Jesus just yet, but we can see — and be — His body at work while we wait in line. Those sightings breathe life into everyone else who wants to know if God is really alive.
“Now faith means putting our full confidence in the things we hope for, it means being certain of things we cannot see.” (Hebrews 11:1)
We can wait a long time when we have a good reason. If we can wait for autographs, tickets and weather, how much more should we be willing to wait for God himself? Both now, and when we reach the end of the line, Jesus is worth the wait.
— Gregg Madsen is the Lead Pastor of Steadfast Gretna. Reach him at gmad email@example.com.