I cannot think of a person I know whose favorite thing is waiting, can you? Waiting often feels like a colossal waste of time.
We all spend a good deal of time in waiting rooms. Some of those are actual waiting rooms at hospitals and doctors’ offices. Then there are other waiting rooms: situations, times of anxious waiting, uncertainty, questioning, overwhelming fear and heartache.
Why is waiting so difficult for all of us? The answer will vary from person to person; yet often our problem with waiting is that we don’t know what all is going on — we don’t have all the details. We think we know how everything should proceed and we want God to be on our schedule, not His. When God doesn’t move on our timeline, we sometimes end up being angry with Him.
There are many biblical accounts of people who had to wait on God. Some examples are Moses, Joseph, Daniel, Mary and Martha, and Paul, to name just a few. These accounts help us see God’s Hand in the lives of these people, and how He used their waiting periods to grow their faith, and they also help group our faith.
God uses our times of waiting to transform us more into His image. Waiting is part of the sanctification process whereby some of our sharp edges are chipped and buffed away. Waiting, particularly during difficulties, deepens our relationship with God as we lean on Him and trust Him to carry us through the situation.
What do we do while we wait? Here are a few things I have found helpful to do while in the waiting room:
• Trust in God’s loving protective care;
• Be alert and pray for strength;
• Read, study, meditate and contemplate upon God’s Word.
Be quick to confess and repent of sin if the Holy Spirit convicts you of sin. It is important to note that waiting is not always the result of our sin.
“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His Word I hope; My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, More than watchmen for the morning.” (Psalm 130:5-6, ESV)
Our ability to wait on the Lord is dependent upon the level of trust and confidence we have in Him, which is directly proportionate to how closely we are walking with Him. Thank God He is always with us while we wait!
Shirley Crowder is a biblical counselor, seminar speaker and freelance writer living in Birmingham. She is the daughter of the late Rev. Ray Crowder, a Gadsden pastor who founded The Bridge. Read her blog at ThroughTheLensofScripture.com.