I have been noticing lately how much I really don’t like to wait. Actually, if I am honest, I don’t like to wait for much of anything. I want everything in my life to happen when I want it – quickly – efficiently – no hitches. And, here’s the deal! Most of you think just like I do in regards to having to wait for things in our lives.
This is because we live in what I call a “Microwave Culture.” We have been trained and indoctrinated daily in our culture to think that waiting is inefficient, unproductive or infringes on our rights. We want everything to be done quickly and just to our liking and preference. When we have to wait, for what we perceive as too long, at a stop light, in line to get our Starbucks coffee, to buy our food at the grocery store, to be seen at a doctor’s office, etc., we often get frustrated, impatient, irritated or angry.
These daily irritations are trivial and really don’t matter that much in the scope of our lives. But what about the big stuff in life? I think we struggle much the same way with the really big battles and struggles of life where God has us in His waiting room. Here are some examples:
1. The person who is battling with cancer and the disease is slowly ravaging their body. They know they are eventually going to die from the disease, but the battle goes on day after day, slowly and painfully.
2. What about the couple who desire to have a baby, but have not been blessed with a child? They cry out to the Lord each day and every month they hope and anticipate their prayer will be answered. But, year after year goes by and they deal with the heartbreak of being childless.
3. The family that is dealing with a crisis situation. They are struggling, hurting and in pain and there seem to be no answers and no end in sight. The crisis goes on and on and their lives seem to be on hold, their future is uncertain and they are paralyzed to take the next step.
4. Or, the person who desires to be married, or is passionate for a career, or desires to serve in a certain ministry area. Month after month, year after year goes by and they are still in God’s Waiting Room.
I could continue with scenarios and examples, but I think you get the point. These are the deep, painful struggles of life when we wonder if God is listening to our prayers. Does God really care about me and my struggle? Why is God taking so long to answer? If He would just answer my prayer in the way I think He should, all would be okay.
I think God often keeps us in His Waiting Room for two primary reasons. The main reason is so that He receives all the Glory when He finally does work the situation out for His purposes. But the second reason is more personal to each of us. It is because He desires more than anything else to develop a personal and intimate relationship with each of us. He desires intimacy and depth of relationship with us much more than accomplishing the thing that we want Him to do. While we are in His waiting room, He desires to build in us a deeper faith and dependence on Him, a level of trust and hope in Him that we have never had before and He longs for us to fall more in love with Him as He works in our lives.
Scripture is laced with promises for those who wait on God. Two passages that have encouraged and reminded me of these truths as I have been in God’s Waiting Room in the past are:
Isaiah 40:31 – “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they will mount up with wings as eagles. They shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not be faint.”
Lamentations 3:22-26 – “Because of the Lord’s great love for us, we are not consumed. For His compassion, mercy and grace never fail. They are new every morning. Great is your faithfulness, Lord. The Lord is my portion, therefore I will wait upon Him. The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him; to the one who seeks Him. It is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.”
Waiting on the Lord is never easy. But as we wait on the Lord in those big crisis and struggle areas of our lives, we can be confident that He is working everything out to the good and for His ultimate purposes because He loves us. The Lord calls us to hope in and to wait on Him because He will refresh, renew and teach us more about who He is and the love He has for us while we are in His Waiting Room.