Loving While We're Waiting

By: Jill Briscoe

While we’re watching for Jesus, we need to be fighting the battle against self.  We need to be loving while we’re waiting for His glorious return.  We long to see Jesus, but, you see, we have seen Jesus!

You may say, “But I live not in the far-off heaven but in the here and now.  So what do I do while I’m waiting?  How can I glimpse a little of His glory so that I am spurred on till the end?”

It was Philip who said to the Lord, “Show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”  Jesus answered, “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time?” (Jn. 14:8-9).  In other words, “Look at me, Philip!  You are looking at the Father when you look at me!”

This is what we can do while we are waiting.  We can learn to love as He loved.  We can read the Gospels and see Him heal a leper or feed the five thousand.  We can hear Him teach the Beatitudes or speak words of kindness to sinners.  We can watch Him in Gethsemane praying for strength to die for us and then breathing His last on the cross–but all this is in our mind’s eye.  One day we will see Him in truth and reality!

After Jesus had risen from the dead, He appeared to the disciples.  He said to Thomas, who had been doubting His resurrection from the dead, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (Jn. 20:29).

We have not had a Philip chance or a Thomas chance to see Jesus in reality.  But we are happy indeed if we believe in Him.  One day we shall see Him face-to-face.

As we nurture our relationship with God by enjoying His immediate presence by His Spirit, we will find ourselves energized to finish our course with joy.  We are left in the world for a reason till that day.  There is a war to be won.  There are people who need the gospel.  There are enemies of Jesus who must be overcome.  And, of course, there is the battle that rages not only without but within to be like Christ.

I don’t know about you, but I want to be able to look Him in the face on that day!  I don’t want to be ashamed to meet His eye.  I hear so many people talking about the fact that they can’t wait till Jesus comes and takes us all out of here.  This is a rather selfish point of view and perhaps a shortsighted one.  He is going to ask us to account for the time we spent here while we were waiting for His return.  How did we fight the battle?  Were we active in His service until the very last day?  We don’t want to be so heavenly-minded that we are no earthly use. 

Above all, how did we love?

Jill Briscoe is the Founder and Executive Editor of Just Between Us magazine.