Guest Post by Michael Wilson
I work for an organisation that supports people with intellectual disabilities to lead a life of normality. The people I support have all grown up in an institutional environment and still carry some behavioural baggage.
For example, it pays to not mention upcoming events until the day they’re happening or, in some cases, until a few hours before. To release the information any sooner can often trigger some very long work days as you’re constantly asked, “are we going to the disco now?” when it’s not for another three days. Or, “my stereo is busted, so-and-so said they’d get me a new one!”. These questions are repeated at a rate of approximately one question every 15 minutes.
I’m not even kidding.
Some of my clients have no sense of time. They can’t understand the concept of “tomorrow” or “next week” and so, understandably, get agitated when they can’t have a thing immediately. But other times I think it’s simply because of a lack of trust.
A lifetime of promises not followed through will beat that trust out of you.
So what do you do? You remind the people who make the promises that you haven’t forgotten the promises.
What lies behind the questions the disciples asked Jesus in this passage?
“When will this happen?”
“What will be the sign?”
These are nondescript questions; seemingly standard and nonthreatening.
But, what drives them is this:
“We don’t trust what you’re doing. This can’t be it.”
“We have been promised a Messiah who rescues us from our oppression and pain! It doesn’t look like you’re doing much about that right now, but don’t think we’ve forgotten!”
This Lent may we learn to trust the God who has it all under control. May we know that he “is not slow as some understand slowness” (2 Peter 3.9). May we learn to see God working in the present and trust in him for the future.