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Can you wait three days?

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Man being patient in recovery

Technology has delivered amazing inventions that have vastly improved many aspects of our lives. I’m grateful for electricity, automobiles, and indoor plumbing, to mention just a few. However, the pace of technological advancement over the past 100 years has brought with it certain expectations that can negatively impact society and us as individuals. One such impact is the devaluing of waiting, which is often seen in airports when I travel.

Engineers and mechanics, infinitely smarter than I, have designed vessels that carry us through the sky from one destination to another in a matter of hours. In times past, this would have taken days or even weeks to traverse by land or sea. With greater technology comes greater (and sometimes impossible) expectations. Waiting is considered a negative, perhaps even “wrong.”

But as any wise parent or teacher will tell you, waiting is often the pathway to the greatest joys and insights. The really “good stuff” of life never comes from haste; true delight and contentment are only found through patience. This is especially true when it comes to healing wounds of sexual brokenness.

My journey of healing began back in the summer of 1999. I had been living a double life of secrecy and sexual sin. When all my junk came into the light I wanted recovery to be quick and painless. I wanted to just check a few boxes, realign my priorities, and have a rich, fulfilling life – now! That didn’t happen.

Instead, I discovered true recovery takes time – a long time. But along the way, I discovered a discipline that greatly improved my ability to experience deeper contentment over the long haul. It boils down to one simple question: Can you wait three days?

Technology and cultural influences of the Industrial Revolution have caused many to believe that virtually everything in life is urgent and must be done, dealt with, or consumed immediately. But over my 25-years of recovery, I’ve learned that it’s just the opposite. Most everything in life can wait three days – and we’re usually better off as a result of the waiting. 

In the chaos and confusion of the unfamiliar path to transformation, it is incredibly tempting to bail out in favor of quick relief from old addictive ways. But that just leads to more bondage and brokenness. True healing and growth happen in the waiting, the enduring. The slow steps forward feel awkward and unsteady, but they are leading you to the peace, rest, and joy you’ve always wanted.

There were two disciples in the ministry of Jesus who had very different responses to their betrayal of him; Judas and Peter. One couldn’t wait in the chaos and confusion of the cross, the other did. Let’s look at their responses to gain a better understanding of why waiting is most often the best way to respond to life’s difficulties.

How Judas Responded to the Arrest and Crucifixion of Jesus

“Then when Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he changed his mind and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders, saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” They said, “What is that to us? See to it yourself.” And throwing down the pieces of silver into the temple, he departed, and he went and hanged himself”  (Matthew 27:3-5).

When Judas saw that the innocent Jesus was condemned to die, he panicked and tried to undo his act of betrayal. When he realized his attempt to return the blood money failed to assuage his guilt, he panicked even more and hastily went out and hanged himself. He knew what he had done was wrong, but was unwilling to wait and see if there could be another way to respond to his terrible sin. In his haste, he sealed his fate.

How Peter Responded to the Arrest and Crucifixion of Jesus

“Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came up to him and said, “You also were with Jesus the Galilean.” But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you mean.” And when he went out to the entrance, another servant girl saw him, and she said to the bystanders, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.” And again he denied it with an oath: “I do not know the man.” After a little while the bystanders came up and said to Peter, “Certainly you too are one of them, for your accent betrays you.” Then he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, “I do not know the man.” And immediately the rooster crowed. And Peter remembered the saying of Jesus, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly” (Matthew 26:69-75).

Within the week (perhaps even three days) after the resurrection, Jesus meets with Peter and asks him three times, “Do you love me?” (John 21:15-19)  Jesus wasn’t asking the question to shame Peter or rub his nose in his recent betrayal. The question was asked to restore Peter, to remind him that any love he could have for Jesus was because Jesus had first loved him. 

The death of Jesus was shocking and confusing to Peter. It didn’t “fit” with how he thought the Messiah would enter history. But Jesus met with him and restored his original calling on his life to be a “fisher of men.” Peter experienced restoration and purpose because he was willing to wait (at least) three days.

In recovery and life, many things seem urgent. But hastiness often leads to poor decisions. Sometimes, irreversible decisions like the one Judas made. So, the next time you are struggling with whatever the next step may be on your journey, ask this question: Can you wait three days?

Good things come to those who wait … on the Lord.

“The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord” (Lamentations 3:25-26).

*Be Broken Ministries does not claim to endorse the organizations or persons sponsoring external website links, and we do not necessarily endorse the views they express or the products or services they offer.

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