Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Gods Waiting Room

One of the greatest frustrations for Christians can be having to wait for God to act. We wait, sometimes for years, for our prayers to be answered, and our requests to be met, but still, we just continue to find ourselves in the waiting game.

In todays day and age, we are accustomed to things being quick, and instant. We are impulsive, spontaneous, and sometimes demanding. We want things to happen, and we want them to happen quickly.

We expect fast food to be fast, and when it isnt, we get irritated. We expect the ATM to instantly give us our money, so we dont have to wait in line inside. We pop food in the microwave and stand there with our foot tapping until its done. We use the self-checkout at the grocery store, so we dont have to wait on someone else to do it.

We have instant access to information through the internet, and would never consider going to the library to look something up. We engage in texting, instant messaging, emails, and facebook so that we can enjoy instant communication and feedback.

We like things quick, easy and convenient, and in this age of immediate gratification and due to living in a culture that thrives on urgency, waiting on God is hard.

As a result of living in this never ending state of immediacy in every other aspect of life, it is easy for us to become frustrated with God, His apparent inaction, His silence, and His obvious unhurried pace.

Have you ever waited for a long time in a doctors office, forced to wait an hour or more past your appointment time? I have endured this torture many times, and I will be honest and tell you, that I not a good "waiter".

As I sit in the waiting room, watching the clock tick away seconds on the wall, getting bored because I have already read every outdated magazine available in the rack, my thoughts begin to focus on impatience. The more time passes, the more my impatience begins to fester, and eventually my mind begins to wander.

I begin to wonder if the office staff overbooked the doctor and if he simply has too many patients. I begin to wonder why the doctor is not being considerate of my time at all.

I wonder why other patients, who came in after me, are being seen before me. I wonder if maybe I should just go home and try to see if I can fix the problem myself with over the counter medicines, or just wait it out to see if it goes away.

In fact, I begin to wonder if the doctor is even in the office?! Maybe he is not really there, and the nurses are just implementing stall tactics to try to keep the patients from leaving?!

The funny thing is, that this same line of thinking is what many of us do when we are waiting for God, myself included!

When we do not see Him working on our problem or answering our prayers in a timely manner, we begin to wonder if maybe He is just too busy.

We begin to wonder if maybe He just does not really care about us at all.

We begin to wonder if maybe He cares about other people more than us, because it appears He is answering their prayers before ours.

We begin to wonder if we should try to handle the problems on our own, and just leave God out of it.

We may even begin to wonder if God is even there, because if He was, would we not have seen a glimpse of Him by now?

Sometimes waiting, can cause wondering, and that wondering can lead us away from God, as we focus on our expectations of timeliness, instead of His.

I do not like waiting - on earthly things, or heavenly things for that matter. Waiting, whether in the doctors waiting room, or Gods waiting room, is simply just not something any of us want, or like, to do.

Maybe you are in Gods waiting room today. Maybe it is a new place for you, or maybe it is a room you have spent a lot of time in.

In this waiting room, maybe you are waiting for a sick family member to be healed; maybe you are waiting to be given a child; maybe you are waiting on a new job opportunity; maybe you are waiting on your teen to turn back to God; maybe you are waiting for a marriage to improve; maybe you are waiting on financial security; maybe you are waiting to overcome an addiction; maybe you are waiting on a clean bill of health; maybe you are waiting for a miracle.

There are so many reasons that cause us to end up sitting in Gods waiting room - just waiting. Waiting to see the One who has the authority to fix the problem, grant the wishes, answer the prayers, and make dreams come true. Waiting to see the One who can heal our hurts, ease our heartache, prescribe peace, and offer hope.

And that waiting is hard - but during the wait, we can choose how we will allow our minds to wander.

We can choose to wonder about Gods will and His timing, or we can choose to wonder whether or not His will and His timing matters.

We can choose to wonder about how we can stand strong in our faith, or we can choose to wonder if faith is all its cracked up to be.

We can choose to wonder about which verses in Gods Word may apply to our situation, or we can choose to wonder if Gods Word is really applicable in todays world.

We can choose to wonder about how God is going to act, or we can choose to wonder about whether or not He will act at all.

Waiting is a matter of faith, obedience, hope and trust.

It is an opportunity for us to lay everything at the foot of the cross, or to bear the weight on our own shoulders. An opportunity to fully trust God and draw closer to Him, or to turn our backs on Him and assume that since we do not see Him, He is not realy there.

In the eyes of the world, any type of waiting is seen as a negative thing, whether waiting on the doctor, or God. In fact, waiting causes negative emotions, such as frustration, anger, boredom, impatience and maybe even feeling trapped.

Waiting may also cause us to act in ways that we would not normally do, such as complaining, despairing, and leaning towards thoughts of hopelessness.

But waiting is sometimes exactly what our Doctor, the real Great Physician, ordered.

God’s concept of waiting is different than our own. It is not based on the mindset of frustration, impatience, or hopelessness - it is based on expectation, patience and His glory.

It is geared towards developing and growing our faith during the wait, providing opportunities for our minds to embrace His sovereignty, His loyalty, and His love.

Waiting is at the core of the Christian life, as we expectantly wait to see how He will carry out His will in our lives. It can be an opportunity to build our faith, trust and hope in Him, as we obey His commandment to wait on His timing, and His will for our lives.

Psalm 118:8 is the exact center of the Bible. It is the verse that is found between the shortest chapter in the Bible (Psalm 117), and the longest chapter in the Bible (Psalm 119). It is the verse that tells us of Gods perfect will for each of our lives, perfectly placed right smack in center of Gods Word.

Psalm 118:8 It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. (NKJV)

Waiting requires trust. Waiting requires taking the focus off of ourselves and our timelines, and putting our trust and hope in the Lord. Waiting requires obedience, as we succumb to Gods sovereignty and recognize that He is God, and we are not.

Psalm 130:5 I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, And in His word I do hope. (NKJV)


Are you in Gods waiting room today? Let your mind wander.

Spend some time wondering about the hope that can be found through Him; about the trust that you can place in Him because He holds the answers to all things; about how you can walk in obedience by putting your trust and hope in Him; about the peace that you can feel in the middle of a storm; about the excitement that you will feel once you are able to see how God has been sitting right beside you in the waiting room all along.

Maybe there are some benefits to waiting, and just maybe, patience truly is a virtue after all.

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27 comments:

Wendy Blight said...

Tracie,

Oh, how I can identify with your devotional and your post today. Thank you for pointing us to TRUTH when we sit in that hard place of waiting. The story of Isaac reminds us of some very powerful Truths. God hears our prayers. God is at work in the midst of our prayers. God is faithful. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever!!

Thankful for you today!

Wendy

Joyful said...

Every day this week so far the Lord has spoken to me about 'waiting'. As I shared with a friend just yesterday, it's hard to wait without being in a frantic frenzy and panic. There's a surrender to trust that has to accompany the wait. Waiting actually is an action word...it doesn't mean passivity...we can still wait with passion...but it needs to be accompanied with peace. This morning I learned that it's not a wait without the longing. Longing is part of the wait. Without the longing it's just time passing. The Lord is actually longing with us..He longs to be gracious to us..blessed are all who wait on Him (Is.30:18). If we have to wait for something, there is great purpose...there is never a wait without a reason.

I think there is a major contrast between God’s Waiting Room and that of our family practitioner. The Great Physician Himself sits with us in the waiting room. He is very aware of each situation. He sees each concern. He knows each anxious longing. His arms hold each weary heart and troubled thought. His tears mingle with ours. He waits with us.

“Yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.” Isaiah 40:31

Thanks for this beautiful post my friend. So thankful I don't wait alone,
Joy

just me said...

This mornings devo was bang on! My family has been waiting for some things to happen for a while now (years) and on Monday we are starting to see the fruits of the labour that have been put into motion! God is an AWESOME GOD! And tho it is easy to say "have patience, it will happen in God's time"--we are all human and would love to have an inside track into His schedule sometimes!
Also the story of Isaac is a powerful reminder to me of our second sons miraculous recovery when we thot God might just call him home! I was prepared to let him go with as much grace as i could muster but again-- God's plan was that we were to witness miracles!
Again I say "OUR GOD IS AN AWESOME GOD!!"

Tracey said...

Tracie,
Thank you for sharing your wisdom on Gods Waiting Room. I have been in His waiting room for more than ten years now. I'm 42 and am still waiting to find the one He made for me. I have been praying for a husband for a very long time and there have been times I've stopped praying. Just recently I started praying for my future husband. Asking God to direct his paths and praying that my future husband is always seeking God's will for his life. One day that dream may come true but if it doesn't, I know that He knows what I need more than I do.

Thanks for the reminder.

Tammi said...

This was just what the "Doctor Ordered" today for me. Encouragement from the Great Physician in the "Operating Room of Life," while my heart is (still)in the "waiting room."

He's still working; things are going to be okay. Just "gotta" keep waiting. . . and trusting. :o)

Thanks for this encouragement.

Andrea said...

Tracie,
Thank you for your posts on waiting! Boy do I need to hear them right now. To me the word wait is a nasty 4 letter word. ;o) I appreciate your words, your insight and speaking God's words into my heart.
Blessings
Andrea

Nettie said...

Wow... I simply don't know what to say except that God is always on time.
Just last night, as I was drifting off to sleep, I prayed "God, you already know what I'm about to say, You already know my thoughts, You already know my feelings. I'm sure You're sick of hearing the same ol' thing."
Thank you for the reminder that I must keep the faith... and I must keep praying - even if it is the same ol' thing.

CC said...

Thank you for this very timely reminder to wait on the Lord Tracie. I am moving to Uganda on June 1st and have yet to rent my home. This has caused me some unnecessary anxiety the last few days. I have grown tired. I know that the Lord has called me to do His work in Uganda and so I need to wait on Him because He does have the person/family in mind for my home. Thanks again. blessings. CC

Familyof6inTX said...

Thank you for this ever so timely devotional. I prayed that very prayer driving home from work the other night. I told God I am just tired of searching and tired of worrying and I just needed to know that He could still hear me and was still listening. This message today reminds me that He is still listening and HE does still care and that all that I have been waiting on will be answered in His perfect time and in His perfect way. I just need to keep seeking Him. Thanks again.

Dana said...

Tracie,
Beautiful devotional. Just what I've been needing to hear. God is sooo good.

Love in Christ,
Dana

lisasmith said...

Just yesterday I realized that there are worse places than the waiting room...so today I'm thankful for the waiting room!
It was as if God was telling me to hang in there when I glanced at my computer this morning and what I saw was, "Tired of Waiting on God"
I laughed. Yes, that one tiny sentence speaks volumes to me today too.

Waiting in faith,
Lisa xoxo

Andrea said...

Thank you for posting this! I really needed to hear it today. My husband and I are waiting on a new job opportunity (as we have been for over a year now). We are hoping to know something definite by this summer...however, your devotional today reminded me that it is not our timing that matters, but His. Waiting is a difficult spot, to be sure. Thank you again for reminding me to praise Him while we wait and to expect His will and timing to be so much better than anything we could ever come up with on our own!

Blessings,
Andrea

Sheena said...

I just needed to hear this today.

Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount their wings like eagle,they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.Isaiah 40

Waiting on the Lord is just so good and vital for us

Linda said...

Tracie,

Getting tired & frustrated with the waiting ... waiting for God to act in my son's life, waiting for a different job. As usual, God pointed me to just the right place - your blog. I'm a first time reader, but I'll definitely be back!

Thank you for allowing Him to use you to light my way,
Linda

Jessica said...

Every day that I read the devotional it seems like it's a message directed to me but today I believe it had DEAR JESSICA in bold letters at the top. I didn't even realize this was an issue for me until I read your devotional and then your blog. There are definately a few things I've slack off on praying about because I've been praying them for so long.

God is amazing!

Have a great Wednesday!

Leah DiPascal said...

Tracie,
What a beautiful devotional that
spokee straight to my heart this morning. I can so relate to your weariness in waiting as I'm right there with you.

I'd like to encourage you today by using you own words...

Isaac (Tracie) was surely tired of the wait, but he (she) never stopped praying or believing that his (her) dreams could come true. And in God's perfect timing, they did.

God sees, God hears, God knows, and in His perfect timing, God answers.

Love you sweet friend,
Leah

Veronica said...

Thank you sooo much! This is EXACTLY what I needed to hear! Thank you for helping to renew my patience and petition to the LORD!

Dorinda Turner said...

Your Blog and Devotional today really spoke to me...I have been waiting for what seems like forever for something and while I wait I keep seeing everyone around me get what I have been wanting and over this past weekend it happened again and I got so frustrated and mad at God. I can really relate to what you said about turning away from God because over the weekend that is how I felt. I just wanted to take matters into my own hands. Then I got your devotion in my inbox and I knew what God was saying to me. I know it wasn't a coincidence that I got it or that you wrote on that subject. Thank You!

~Grace and Peace said...

Tracie,
You're speaking for me today because those are the exact thoughts that run through my head when I'm at the doctor's office. I am SO not good at waiting.

This also ties in with the readings we're doing over at Wendy Pope's blog. We're in Joshua reading about Achan's sin when he hid the loot from Jericho. Had he just waited, God would have given them the loot from Ai. As a result of his impatience, he and the rest of his family died.

Thank you for opening your heart.

Tammy Nischan said...

Tracie,

My waiting involves longing for a sense of relief from my grief...........thank you for reminding me that with God time is different than it is with man and that it is okay to plead with the Lord and that God is faithful to hear our prayers.

I love Him so much. I just miss my sweet Nick so much too.

Thank you for helping me understand a little better that truly I am in "God's Waiting Room" right now, and it is okay.

Love,
tammy

elizabeth said...

Thank you thank you Tracie! This was a dose of medicine I needed. I love it how God speaks to me through His word and through people like you! Waiting has been on my mind a lot lately. Being 5 months pregnant, living far away from home, waiting on a job opportunity for my husband that is closer to both of our families, waiting to see when my husband's current job will come to an end. There are so many hopes invested with the things we wait on, it's easy to feel hopeless when nothing happens. This is a good reminder that we are to keep the faith, cling to God, know his word to stay strong, never stop praying, and put our faith and trust in Him.
I also remind myself that while I may feel like I'm sitting here doing nothing, God is working through us and other people we can not see to make things possible. He is setting things into motion, helping things fall into place and that takes time. It's like coordinating a wedding: scheduling the church, ordering a dress, playing phone tag with the florist, researching a photagrapher etc. Everything has to fall into place but that can only happen through getting things in order. That's what God is doing, so He is still being productive while we wait.

Ronel said...

Tracie,I really idnetify with your devotional post about having faith and waiting.I have faith in God and beleive that there is nothing impossible for Him, He is all powerful but how do I know that what I am praying and waiting for is His will.Is it possible that what I have asked for is not part of His will.For eg I have always wanted to be able to afford to stay at home with my kids and not work but is it possible that may not be want God wants for me-how will I know?

Leslie B said...

Thank you for this devotional. I was laid off from my job last year and I have been, waiting, praying and hopin for a new job. The Lord has blessed me in many anys to sustaining me through this strom. However, I still cry out with frustration waiting for God's timing.

The day before I had gone to the dr for a minor check up. The Dr.'s name was Hope. I immediately wondered if God was sending me a message to continue to Hope.

I feel now that between this devotional and the Dr.'s name, the Lord is defintely sending me a message that he will not foresake me.

Crystal said...

Thank you for the reminder that He is my hope and my strength while I wait, and His timing is perfect.

StarryNightQuilter said...

Thanks Tracie for this post. Waiting is sooooo difficult. When I look over the times I have slipped into despair or taken things into my own hands....it's been all because I GET TIRED OF WAITING. I have lots of strategies for waiting - like trying to occupy my hands and mind and sometimes mouth - to take my mind off the waiting. But here - you are reminding us we are in the waiting room of God - who knows the right time. The set time. In spite of knowing that - its all about LEARNING to TRUST. Yours is a lengthy post - but I will now find it to refer to again and again....on the bedside table, on the bathroom mirror and guess I better make another copy for my purse....

Mary said...

This truly spoke to me and I thank you!

Dionna said...

Beautiful post and so eloquently said. Thanks for the encouragement to not run off ahead but to be patient in the "wait."