waiting room

Some fidgeted nervously. Some slept. Some tried to engage anyone who would listen in mindless conversation. Some distracted themselves with a book or their computer. Some prepared coffee they didn’t drink or stared at the hands of the clock that seemed to be moving way too slowly. All were waiting.

It’s been a while since I’ve had to sit in a waiting room. I always bring work with me because I can’t stand to just do nothing. I sometimes get irritated because the person I’m “waiting” to see doesn’t seem to value my time as much as they expect me to value theirs.

Prayer can be like that. We finally acknowledge God’s presence and we want his undivided attention and immediate response on our schedule. We share our plans and hopes and fears…and then we want action.

I am a task oriented person who typically sees waiting as a waste of my time. But what if the span of time between my prayers and God’s answers is purposeful? What if there are some things I need to learn before His answer will make sense? What if God is working out details in someone else’s life that are part of my answer? What if God wants to use my situation to teach me to depend on Him, to trust His judgment, to have greater confidence in His ability than I do in mine? Do I trust God enough to wait patiently…or do I fidget and manipulate to get the answer I want? Do I trust God’s authority…or do I seek the advice and counsel of anyone who will listen? Do I look for his reassurance and evidence that He is at work…or do I just “do time” until I can move on to my next heavenly request? Is my faith in Him, or in my frantic preparation and activity?

I have loved ones that are waiting for results of medical tests. I have precious friends that are waiting for job offers. There are things in my life that I have done everything I know to do to prepare for…and now I must wait for the details to work themselves out. My frustration in the details that seem to hinder me indicates that I don’t trust God to work all things out for my good.

God is not just in the request and the answer itself. God is in the waiting. What if God wants me to watch him at work and be strengthened in my faith? What if God has an answer that is way better than my request? What if God wants my wait time to be a testimony to those who are watching me? What if God is more interested in spending time with me than he is accomplishing my “to do” list?

God told Moses that his name is “I AM”. Present tense. Not past…not future. Regardless of whatever is weighing on your mind and heart today, find peace and joy in the God who patiently waits for you to seek him, to trust him with the details of your day and your life. Just because you don’t see evidence of God’s activity doesn’t mean nothing is happening. Expect his presence. Eagerly anticipate a fresh vision of his power. Place your confident hope in the God who loves you and who leads you forward, one step at a time, until all things are accomplished.