I read a story recently about a dog that has sat for four months outside a hospital in Brazil, waiting for its owner, who died there. Apparently, another dog in Japan waited similarly for ten years on a train station! I reckon my sausage dog, Carrie, would only wait for me until someone walked past with food!
We find such patience and loyalty endearing. The dog doesn’t understand the circumstances, doesn’t really know where his master is or how long he will have to wait – he just does.
Christians are in a similar situation. After Jesus rose from the dead, He spent 40 days with His followers and friends before being taken up into heaven in the clouds. When He was gone, angels told His friends that in the same way Jesus had gone, He would come back again one day.
Christians have been waiting for that event for more than 2000 years and many people believe it is now very close. But patience and waiting is hard, especially when the world is so full of scary events, violent people and injustice.
The temptation is always to forget about the future and just follow something fun and pleasurable. “Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die” as the saying goes. That seems to be the prevailing mood in society – buy that expensive item, eat that donut, sleep with that person, experiment with that drug because life is short and you need to suck all the goodness out of it while you can.
However, what if this life is but a millimetre in the endless kilometres of eternity? What if what we do in this millimetre determines where we spend all those kilometres? What if, if we choose to wait faithfully and deny ourselves a few pleasures now, we will experience more joy, goodness and abundance than we could ever have imagined?
I don’t know about you but I choose to sit and wait for my Master because “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us”. (Romans 8:18).