A lot of people are in waiting rooms right now, and I’m mostly referring to doctors’ offices. Waiting to be seen, waiting to share their concerns, waiting to take their children to get help, waiting for hours sometimes.
The other day, I was in a waiting room for a yearly check-up. My appointment time passed while I sat, and I began to watch others in the room.
People came and went. Some took out their phones immediately when they sat down, some watched TV. But each one had to wait — until someone else arrived to tell them it was their turn. “You’re up!”
I began to think about how many people misunderstand the concept of waiting, especially spiritually. I often hear people say, “I can’t wait for this pandemic to be over so I can (fill in the blank),” and I began to think about all the opportunities in life that can be missed by stagnantly waiting.
Have you thought about what waiting room we’re in today, how long we’ve been there, or even if we’re waiting for the right thing?
Here are a few thoughts I jotted down that day in the doctor’s office waiting room…
We’re Not Waiting Alone
I heard someone say “When you’re waiting on God, you’re in good company; millions of saints before you have sat in God’s waiting room and you’re not alone”. Whatever we’re waiting on right now, have we asked others to join us in prayer? And if not, why?
Waiting Is Not a Waste of Time
Noah waited 120 years before it rained, but God promised that his family would be saved. Moses waited for 40 years in the wilderness to hear what God wanted him to do next. And then he led God’s promised people out of Egypt, an extraordinary task.
How long have I been in my waiting room again?
God Waited Thousands of Years Before Sending His Son
Knowing what Jesus would be, how He would love us and sacrifice for us… Why didn’t God send Him sooner? Because waiting is part of our faith, our hope, and because we’re part of a plan that has a beginning, middle and an end.
Waiting Is Action
Waiting for God is not laziness; waiting is an action. We have to actively commit to this process with patience and prayer. We have to take action to wait on God daily, otherwise we might get scared or frustrated and take the reins back.
Serve While You’re Waiting
Waiting in one aspect of our lives (having children, getting a better job, finding a spouse, seeing the end of this pandemic) cannot interfere with our service to God. Waiting must be intentional and strategic. But if we are truly waiting, it has to be with assurance, knowing that God will answer and knowing that we will be taken care of.
Waiting Is a Time to Prepare for When We Get What We’re Waiting For
If I am praying for a new job, for example, am I really ready to hit the ground running when I first start my new position? Am I prepared to be a hardworking employee, truthful and honest and willing to learn the ropes?
God Doesn’t Let Our Appointment Time Go By. Ever
God’s timing is perfect. He’s actually really good at swinging doors open wide, but not if we keep asking, “Is it time now?” “Are we there yet?” “Why not now?” Our human minds don’t like not being in control of the outcome, but true waiting on the Lord involves complete trust in His will and timing, not our own.
Is God Actually Waiting on Me?
God wants the best for us. That means waiting should not be focused on what we want, rather on an open-ended “What does God have waiting for me?” When I think about the necessities I need in my life, I have a small list of obvious ones (besides Christ’s love and salvation): Food, shelter, love from family, a job to make ends meet. That’s about it. Everything else, when it really boils down, is what the world tells us we should want: More food, a better shelter, love and admiration from everyone we meet, a high-paying job.
Are my needs met? Do I have food on my table and a place to live and ability to care for myself and/or my family? Yes. So why am I letting so many other things distract me from what God wants me to do; it seems like He is waiting on me to do things (spreading the Gospel, sharing my testimony, being charitable to others) more than I’m waiting on Him.
What Are My Strategies for Waiting?
Perhaps I first panic. Then, I try to think of what I’ve done in the past when I’ve had to wait, such as go ask someone for help, try to Google what to do, phone a friend.
Then do I remember to go to God in prayer? What are my first instincts when I’m in the middle of a situation that’s going to take some time? How do I make decisions?
One general definition of “wait” is “to stay in a place until an expected event or until something happens.”
Trusting that “something happens” is key to getting through our individual waiting rooms. God’s promises are endless. God’s love is tireless. And God’s commitment to see us through the waiting is unfailing.
In conclusion, if I can appreciate that my entire life is essentially a waiting room, knowing that God is keeping me company the entire time, I won’t feel like I’m (truly) having to wait anymore because I’ll know that God has some mighty wonderful blessings in store for those who love and serve Him.
“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.