Steps in the Darkness
I find myself wondering what those 10 days were like. I know what they were doing. The bible tells us they were devoted to prayer, but we have no view into how the disciples felt while they were waiting on the Holy Spirit. The following post is sheer speculation, but indulge me if you will. I am not asserting a biblical truth, merely pondering on a question which cannot be answered. This is more of a confession than a lesson so to speak. If you have never read Acts 1-2, firstly, shame on you. Secondly, go read it before finishing this post.
I am a person who likes a plan. I like to know what my days will look like. I enjoy setting goals and knowing the direction my work is taking. Conversely, I am uncomfortable with ambiguity. I find it difficult to work without seeing the “big picture,” whatever that means. I wonder if the disciples felt the same way.
For 40 days, Christ walked on this earth with his followers after he was raised from the dead. He spent a little over a month explaining all that happened to his disciples so they could get it through their thick skulls. Then, in one colossal failure, they asked him as he was finishing if it was time for him to take over the earth and give it to Israel. (Thank God his plan is not dependent on us understanding it!) His response was to wait. He told them to remain in Jerusalem until they received the “comforter,” an enigmatic order to say the least.
So, they waited. They waited and prayed.
We know the end of the story. After 10 days, when the feast of Pentecost came, the Spirit fell on them in a mighty way and God’s church was birthed with a bang. But how about those 10 days between Christ’s ascension and the baptism of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost? Christ had given them a glimpse of the future in Acts 1:8 when he told them they would be witnesses on a global stage. But how in the world was that supposed to happen? And more importantly, a witness to what? Certainly, they could speak of the things Christ had done and the fulfillment of God’s plan through him. However, there was no church. There was no movement. There was only 120 men and women sitting in a room praying. Talk about uncertainty of purpose! They were told of this great mission, but where in the cat hair were the details?
To proof text a little, we are told that “faith is the evidence of things not seen” and to “walk by faith and not by sight,” but is that really what is expected of us? Are we really supposed to walk off into the darkness expecting our next step to be there? It appears that is what was required of Christ’s first group of followers. Why would it be any different for us? I find one of my toughest struggles in this simple fact: I do not know everything, nor will I ever.
But God does.
Lord, I pray you will give me what it takes to walk when my steps are not certain. That somewhere inside of me, the strength to trust in your almighty power and unfailing love will rise up and fortify my soul. You do have a plan, and I am a part of it. May I play my part as you see fit. In the words of your son, “ not my will, but yours, be done.”