As I took my place in line at the DMV recently, I noticed a sign near the front that said, “WAIT HERE UNTIL CALLED.” The line was long, so I had plenty of time to think on this command. As a Christian, that word, called means something to me that it may not mean to all of my fellow line-standers. It could mean those who are called to salvation, or it could indicate the general call of the Gospel message. It could even mean the call of the Lord that it is time to leave this earth and go to be with Him.
This particular day, having dealt with some health issues, my mind went to that last meaning. I began to think of that time when I will be called home to heaven, and can lay aside the weary task of caring for a weak and imperfect human body, one even now feeling the pain of standing in that line. The best comfort I have found in pain is Christ, so I began to think of Him. I know that I must “wait here (on earth) until called,” but what should I do in the meantime? Where should I “stand” while I wait for Him to call me home? The DMV is very clear on where they want me to wait for their clerk. The Bible also makes it quite clear how we are to wait for Christ.
Stand Fast in the Faith
First, we must wait in faith. I am often uncertain, as I wait in line at the DMV, whether or not I have the proper paperwork. Have the rules changed since I last registered a vehicle? Perhaps. Have I forgotten some important document? Probably. Will I be turned away before I can even get uncomfortable in that chair? Pretty likely. But with Christ, I do not experience this uncertainty. The rules have not changed with Him, and I can be sure of that. Heb. 13:8 reminds me that “He is the same yesterday, today and forever.” I also recall Paul’s exhortation in I Corinthians 16:13 to “Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.” As the line moves forward, my heart is encouraged by these thoughts.
Consider One Another
Second, we must wait in fellowship. Nothing makes that DMV line go faster than chatting it up with some of the other citizens in line. We can share our fear of lost paperwork or being called by the mean bald clerk that nobody wants to deal with. Regardless of the topic of conversation, the camaraderie makes the waiting more bearable. And so it is with our waiting for Christ. Life on earth can be difficult and having other Christians to encourage us and build us up can make things seem easier. We are harassed by an enemy and we live in a fallen world, but we can still be joyful as we remind each other where our real hope lies. Hebrews 10:24-25 instructs us to “…consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together…exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” Times of fellowship make life sweeter as we wait for that day when we are called home to be with Christ.
Joy of the Lord
As the man in front of me is called by the clerk, I am happy to see that this chore is almost finished. In my last few minutes of waiting, I can’t help but think of the joy I will feel when I am called to heaven and embraced by my loving Father. This fullness of joy is also where we wait while we are on earth. The joy of the LORD is our strength (Neh.8:10). We wait in the strength that has been given to us through Christ’s sacrifice. Because of His anguish, pain, and separation from the Father, I can wait in joy for His call to me. “For the joy that was set before him, [he] endured the cross, despising its shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Heb. 12:2) The joy He could see on the other side of Calvary is the same joy that strengthens me to wait for eternity with Him.
As I leave the license bureau, I walk past many who are still waiting for their turn to prove their right to be licensed, and I am so grateful that I have nothing to prove to Christ. At the same time though, I can’t help but wonder how many of the souls in that line do not know Him, and I am stirred once again to order my life and conduct in such a way that I will draw others to Him; to pray for those who don’t know Christ, and to be diligent never to miss an opportunity to tell them of the faith, fellowship, and fullness of joy that are available for their comfort while they wait if they will submit their lives to Christ.
My work here is finished, and I won’t need to come back for two more years. But I’ve gained more than just a legal ride here. By thinking of Christ during what could have been an unpleasant task, I have discovered much to be thankful for. As I crank up the praise music on my car stereo, I find myself saying something most of us would never imagine saying: “Thank You, God for the DMV!!”