“Are we there yet?” That was the dreaded question I heard over and over from my kids as our family drove on long trips years ago. I would bite my tongue and try to patiently state, “We’ve only driven for one hour and have 7 more to go.”
I wonder if Jesus felt like me as his disciples continued to ask if it was time for Israel to get back on top. “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6) they asked right after the death and resurrection of Jesus. Was now the time when big, bad Jesus would take control and put the world back to normal?
It’s easy to look down on the disciples but aren’t we just like them? God is on the move, but we want change to happen quickly.
The reality is we live in the now and not yet. Satan has been defeated at the cross. The Father has poured out the Spirit. We do live in the last days when people from every corner of our planet can know God personally. This is dramatic!
But we want more because we see so much poverty and oppression and evil in the world. And if we’re honest with ourselves, we get frustrated internally as we see the sin in our own lives. And we want to ask, just like the disciples, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom? Isn’t it time to end violence? Isn’t it time for my struggle with lust and anger and bitterness and depression to end?”
And God’s answer is “Yes” it’s time for evil to end. But God’s answer is also “No” for we will continue to struggle until that final day of the Lord. The Spirit has been given to all of God’s people just as He promised. But we are also waiting for another dramatic day when evil will be done away with and when peace will be ultimately restored.
And for now, the children of God live with the hope of the promised Spirit as our helper and comforter. And our Father understands as we cry out again and again, “Are we there yet?” or to use the Psalmist words, “How long, O Lord?” (Psalms 13, 35, 89, etc.)