[Colby Elford is a “country boy”, who grew up in southwest Saskatchewan. He and his wife, Denae, reside in Moose Jaw.]
“The vision of the coming Kingdom is broad, wide, deep, and generous.”
(Dirk G. Lange, Preaching This Week, WorkingPreacher.org, 2010.)
Nobody likes waiting.
Everyone tries to guess which line is going to be quickest at the grocery store.
We have all been annoyed when we are rushing home and seem to hit every red light.
I’m the same. People have told me that I am a patient guy. I don’t feel patient. I try to be polite, but inside I am going crazy. Especially when I am waiting on the Lord.
Our “right now” society has convinced me that when I turn something over to God, He will respond immediately, and favorably. After all, I’ve done my part. In the last few years I have learned beyond a shadow of a doubt that God has his own timing. So far in my life God’s timing has been perfect. But it certainly doesn’t seem that way while I’m waiting. Knowing that God has a plan doesn’t make the waiting any easier for me.
When Denae and I are in an airport somewhere, waiting for a flight or waiting for an arrival, we will play a game. It could be anything. We play travel chess, rummy, crib, whatever. It helps pass the time. Anything to keep us from staring at the clock and watching the second hand slowly tick around. Waiting isn’t so bad when you’re occupied, and you enjoy the people that are in the same situation as yourself.
In today’s passage (Romans 15:4-13), Paul is encouraging unity within the body of believers. He is talking about breaking down the barriers between Jews and Gentiles, emphasizing the fact that Jesus treated them both equally and that they should do the same.
But, of course, there is more.
The major theme that jumped out at me in this passage is ‘acceptance’. God in his perfect timing is forming each of us into mature Christians that get along with each other. So accept one another. That is the example Jesus set (vs. 7). The result will be a “choir—not our voices only, but our very lives singing in harmony in a stunning anthem to the God and Father of our Master Jesus!” (Romans 15:6, The Message)
What a perfect way to kill time while waiting for Christ:
Live a life of acceptance that inherently praises God.
I bet if we are busy accepting one another and helping each other become mature in Christ, the time will just fly by.