I think only of questions when I see this word….
How long? What for? When? Forever?
Are you in the waiting room, too?
What does that look like from where you stand? Hopeful? Depressing? Defeated? Dare I say Dreary?
I know, when I think about it- so, so many questions bubble up to the surface. I’ve sat in the waiting room many times, and will again. What gets to me most though, is that I often do not understand the purpose in waiting, really.
I see myself with nibbled nails, twisted wringing hands, and toe tapping feet.
Hating the room of the unknown, aka:
The Waiting Room.
But, as I look at it through another lens I can see purpose in sitting in that room. It all seems so senseless when circumstances are less sure, when I am less trusting, when I see things falling apart. Yet, the Hand of God is holding me. He has a firm grasp on my hand. I can trust that.
Whenever I’m stuck and can’t seem to find the Lord’s purpose for me in the waiting room, what comes to mind is Noah. The man who built a mammoth boat far away from any body of water, no rain in sight, neighbors laughing at him. And the animals- all those animals and 7 other humans in that confined space. 40 days of solid rain, 150 days of floating on the flood, 5 months till the water receded enough for the ark to rest on land, an entire year before the land dried out and then he could leave that stinky, water-logged, floating zoo. I can only imagine the smell of that many animals- think wet dog x 10 to the nth power. Ugh. And just think how many animals could breed a time or two or three or twelve!!! And the homegrown fertilizer,,,, Owww!!! Gas mask anyone?
How did Noah respond to the waiting-? When his feet finally touched land, he built an altar and sacrificed in thanksgiving to the Lord – and it was a pleasing to the Lord.
I think The Lord missed communion with people (that’s just me reading between the lines). I know He values relationship with us above all things.
This is what He said: “The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done. As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.” Genesis 8: 21-22
The point of all of this is the beginning of chapter 9- verse 1: “And the Lord blessed Noah and his sons,”
There was purpose in the waiting, in the trusting, in the obedience.
And, Abraham and Sarah. A promise. The waiting. Age overtaking them. Again the promise. How in the world? When? They waited years, For just the beginning of the promise. Only to have it almost snatched away- but Abraham trusted the One who had brought them safe to that mount of sacrifice.The one who provided the ram in the thicket. And the promise stood firm.
Jacob also comes to mind-A blessing meant for another, not realized when it was spoken, running away in shame and fear. He worked and waited 7 years for the bride of his choosing- then, hoodwinked by his father-in-law to be- he had to wait another 7 years for the bride of his heart. He worked and waited, and worked some more and waited and ended up with 2 wives, two of their handmaidens and 12 sons and thus a nation was born. And the blessing was fulfilled.
Then, there’s Joseph. Sold off by his brothers, sent to Egypt, became a slave, then imprisoned, and finally recognized for his gift of interpreting dreams. He becomes the second most important man in the land- yet, he still waited-for his family. For God to fulfill his own dreams. And He did when the famine came, with it also came Jacob and the 11 other brothers. Reunited. At last. And the promises were kept.
All through scripture there are examples of waiting: Tamar, Moses, Joshua, Rahab, Naomi, Ruth, Hannah, David, Job, Esther, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Hosea, Habakkuk, John the Baptist and so many more.
The waiting is part of life, it does have purpose and is not senseless, mind numbing, do-nothing time where we chew our nails to the nibs. I have to remind myself of that when I’ve waited weeks, months, years even, for that one thing that I want to be fixed by now. My trust wavers. I wonder if He listened, or heard my pleas. I am saddened and weary, bone tired. Still Waiting. For an answer.
Sometimes there’s such a sense of urgency in our waiting; we feel we can’t wait a moment longer. More than once I’ve cried out desperate, at wits end, needing an answer- yesterday. We see only that which is staring us right in the face and cannot be fixed.
He understands the fatigue in waiting and the urgency in our hearts.
He knows giving us what we want or need out of time is never better than providing in perfect time.
The waiting is never wasted. It is always purposeful. God’s plan will never fail, will not be thwarted, and is always on time. He sees, He hears, He knows our heart’s desire.
AND HE HAS NOT FORGOTTEN.
In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly. Psalm 5:3
Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:14
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Psalm 37:7
Lord, I wait for you; you will answer, Lord my God. Psalm 38:15
I am feeble and utterly crushed;I groan in anguish of heart.All my longings lie open before you, Lord;my sighing is not hidden from you.My heart pounds, my strength fails me; even the light has gone from my eyes.Lord, I wait for you; you will answer, Lord my God. Psalm 38:8-10, 15
I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Psalm 40:1-3