Wednesday, January 16, 2013
THE WAITING ROOM OF LIFE by Vicki Taylor
Psalm 27:14 – Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the Lord.
Have you ever wondered why God allows us to wait? Why He, seemingly, never hurries when we have a need or need an answer quickly? I know I have.
I call those seasons the “waiting rooms of life.” Mainly because they remind me of…well…waiting rooms. Now picture this … waiting rooms are large, they are usually full, and they are usually quiet. And more times than not, you will spend a huge chunk of your time in there. I know I do. But … there is a lot to be learned in the waiting rooms of life. With eyes open and ears tuned in, you can learn much about life. Let me explain.
First of all, waiting means we are sitting down and being still. There is no place to go. See where I am going here? Be still, the perfect place where God can get our attention. When we wait on God, He begins to do a work IN us. It’s through tests and trials that we develop the courage and strength to face life’s difficulties. Without the waiting room trials we would never grow in the Christian life. The goal is not to remain there or to become too comfortable.
Second, you can listen. When was the last time you sat in a waiting room listening to other people’s conversations? I do that a lot. People are very interesting to me, so I watch and listen, all the while with a book in my lap pretending to read. Since it is quiet in the waiting room, you can hear everything. It is the perfect place for us to hear God in His waiting room. Be still and listen. Give Him the opportunity to encourage you and give you strength to get through this latest trial. He is there with you; He has you there for a reason. Sit back and listen.
Third, be watchful. I have learned, the hard way, that focusing my attention on my circumstances will not fix anything. All that does is cause more anxiety for me and my loved ones. When I finally release that control over to my Father, He is able to comfort me and counsel me. Now, my circumstances may not change and I may not move out of the waiting room yet, but my fear and restlessness have calmed down enough that I can watch and listen with a clear mind and open heart.
Fourth, the results. How do others see God’s glory in me if He is not doing a work in me? How many times have I asked myself that question as I have sat in that waiting room? Way too many times to count! While sitting in the waiting room, we see others come and go, yet we continue to wait. Some wait with us for a long time; others leave quickly. You would think by now we would grow accustomed to waiting, but we don’t. We do not need to get comfortable either. God wants us ready to move at His urging. If we become too content in the waiting room, we won’t want to leave, and then we will miss all that God has for us.
When we begin to look at life’s waiting rooms as another opportunity for God to grow our faith, we gain the strength and character that God intended us to learn only through those trials. Waiting on God is a cultivated spiritual discipline, and discipline can be long and painful. It always requires patience, practice, and perseverance. The only way to get through it is to focus on God’s faithfulness, mercy, and grace. Soon the door will open and your name will be called and you can get up out of that valley of testing to climb up your mountain of faith.
Look around. You might see someone you know in the waiting room with you.