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“THE WAITING ROOM”
If you’ve ever waited in an Emergency Department or for a delayed flight, you will appreciate what I’m about to say. Waiting is frustrating!
The problem with waiting isn’t that we have better things to do or places to be, although we think we do. The problem with waiting is that we’re not wired to wait. We hate to wait because it goes against the grain. Think about the conveniences of our day and the way they are designed to cut down on waiting. Online reservations. Instant Messaging. e-Tickets. Smart speakers (Hey Siri or Hey Google). Technology makes it possible to avoid waiting for a restaurant seat, find an alternate flight, or get a quick answer to a burning question. But technology cannot do for us the one thing we desperately need to do: slow down and not be in such a hurry. The truth is, all of us need to learn to wait even though we hate waiting.
After God created mankind, he saw everything he made and said it was very good. Then he rested (see Genesis 1:31-2:3). Mankind was created with no sense of urgency, no need to hurry, and no worries about anything. That’s because mankind was created for and enjoyed perfect harmony with God and each other in a world without sin. Among other things, sin affected mankind’s ability to wait. After the ‘fall,’ Adam and Eve were awakened to personal guilt and shame (see Genesis 3:1-11). Their nakedness revealed their vulnerability, which brought confusion and created a huge dilemma.
Since that time mankind lacks the patience relationships require. Instead of enjoying God, our relationship with him is on our terms. We only seek him when it’s convenient for us and fail to listen for his voice in everything. We tolerate others if they do what we want them to do. We hate interruptions and course corrections. Instead of prioritizing rest, we rush everywhere and do life in hurry mode. And we add worry about everything to our waiting!
The key to waiting, as the psalmist reminds us, is to wait expectantly for the Lord (Psalm 37:7; Cf. Proverbs 22:20). In uncertain circumstances or challenging situations, we must accept God’s invitation to meet him in the “waiting rooms” of life, choosing to surrender to his will and his ways. As we do, we begin to see that waiting has a definite purpose. Waiting is not wasted time, but rather it is a time to be awakened.
As we learn to wait expectantly for the Lord, our senses become more attuned to his voice. Our spirit becomes more aware of his Spirit. In times of waiting our will is yielded to the will of the One who loves us and walks with us into his perfect plan for our life. As we learn to wait for the Lord, faith is strengthened and hope is renewed.