32 This Jesus God raised up. We are all witnesses to that fact. 33 He was exalted to God’s right side and received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit. He poured out this Spirit, and you are seeing and hearing the results of his having done so.
Some days, I long for the summer I spent building houses with my brother. What I loved about that process was that, at five o’clock, you could see tangible progress. There was a clear result. Even if you didn’t get quite as far as you wanted, you saw movement everyday.
Pastoring isn’t necessarily like that. Most jobs aren’t.
There are milestones, of course – a project completed, a new initiative begun, or a new location built, staffed, and opened. But in most of our jobs, whether we are teachers, nurses, or financial planners, there’s not typically a huge sense of forward momentum. Each day is, at best, a slow, steady plod toward the close of one cycle and the start of a new one. And, if we’re honest, sometimes in the midst of that we can start to feel like nothing is really happening. We may begin to feel like what we’re doing doesn’t amount to much.
But then there are days when something REALLY exciting happens – something that helps to reveal that all those days of effort really WERE moving in a direction. Maybe today is the day a student has a real breakthrough. Maybe today is the day a patient who wasn’t walking gains confidence to stand on his feet again. Maybe today is the day that a client looks at her accounts and says, “I think I’m ready to retire now.”
After the Resurrection, the disciples spent a good long time hiding out, waiting for something to happen. They kept gathering and they kept praying, but they lived in fear that they might be next in line for the cross. I’m sure they frequently wondered: was all of that time we spent with Jesus for nothing?
But then, something happened. Then came the day of Pentecost – when the Church stood up under the power of the Spirit and made itself known. The world has never been the same since.
So if you are tired of not seeing results, pray for a Pentecost: a new outpouring of God’s Spirit and power upon your life and work.
By Joe Monahan
For Pondering & Prayer
Where in your life are you feeling stuck? (Granted, this might be tough to answer, because the pandemic has a lot of us feeling stuck lately. Still, try to answer as best you can.) Is it in your work? In your health or habits? In your spiritual life? In friendships or relationships?
Today, can you trust that God has been working on your concerns in the background all along? Can you trust that the day of Pentecost is coming for you?
Prayer: Holy Spirit, may today be the day of our Pentecost. Today, may we come to the sudden realization that you have been at work in the background all along, even when we didn’t see or recognize you. Today, we pray that we might see the results of that work. Amen.