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Remember when the Israelites were in Egypt? They were waiting for God to rescue them from slavery for 400 years. They were waiting for the Lord. When God appeared to Moses, he said, “I have heard the cry of my people.” “Yes, 400 years of crying what took you so long,” we might imagine the Israelites wondering.  Do you know what the Israelites did while they were waiting for God during that time? It tells us in the Bible. They multiplied. So how do you multiply? You fall in love, get married, and have kids. Let’s take this concept and develop it a bit more.  Picture in your mind an Egyptian taskmaster telling a poor youthful Israelite, “Take that pile of bricks and lug them the top of the Pyramid, and make it quick.”  That is one long, hard day. When he returns home, the tired a sore Israelite walks in the door. His wife says to him “You had a hard day, and she hugs him, and then… they have another kid. In other words, the Israelites had many reasons to hate, reasons to despise, and reasons to retaliate, but instead, they chose to love. With four hundred years of love they multiplied and they built a great nation for God. That is why God makes them wait. Greatness is always shown in the way we wait.
It is the same with us. We also wait for the Lord. What are we doing as we wait? We are multiplying into a great nation for God.
After Jesus’ resurrection, he went to Peter who just denied him three times a few days earlier. Jesus said, “Peter you and I have to have a little talk.” What happened after the talk? Jesus ascended into heaven. Peter and the boys went around and changed the world. Two thousand years later my parents named me Peter after the great Apostle. What happened? On the one hand, Peter was a total failure when he denied Jesus three times, and on the other hand, he changed the world. How did that come about? What was the game changer? I will tell you what made the difference: time with the Lord. We all need time with the Lord.
As you may know, we have seminarians studying with us from all over the country. One is from New York. I was in conversation with the New York seminarian, and he mentioned that he was sad that his New York Jet’s lost to the Patriots last weekend. Then he mentioned his beloved team, the Giants, who have only three wins all season. I then asked him about the New York Knicks and how they were doing. He mounded in pain. I said, “Just look at you. You are miserable. You do not have to be miserable. Join us Boston fans. We are happy. We just had a victory parade. All of our teams this year are probably going to be in the playoffs. Unite with us, and you will be happy again.” He looked at me and retorted, “Never.” I understand his resistance. Times are tough for him and other New York fans, but he waits. He waits because he knows that in the offseason the Yankees will buy the best players in baseball. He waits because he knows that all the best athletes want to play for New York because there is a lot of money there. They have great restaurants and entertainment in New York. He knows it is just a matter of time and so he waits.
People write and speak about the church today. They say the church does not have the power or the influence it once had. The church does not have the respect it used to have. Churches are closing everywhere, and morale is low among the faithful. The leaders cannot seem to get a grasp on the problems in the church. Yet, many of us still faithfully come to church. Why? Because we know. We know that Jesus Christ occupies the throne. And one day he will come in a cloud and his we will see his glory. We know it is just a matter of time and so we wait.
Maybe we are losers, sinners. But so was Peter. Sitting with the Lord is a game changer for him and us. So we wait.
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