Waiting is something no one likes to do, yet we all find ourselves having to wait from time to time.
We've all known what it is to wait in line at the grocery store, Walmart or the fast food place. You stand in line behind the skinny kid with stringy hair, chain dangling from his ripped back pocket and ear buds from his big ears so long that you could retrace the pattern on his wrinkled tee shirt in your sleep. But.....you KNOW that sooner or later you will reach the point where you pay and get to leave. Why? You always do.
You are rushing to your destination when suddenly traffic slows to a crawl then ultimately stops dead still. You crane your neck out the window and all you see for as far as you can see is a winding loop of cars and trucks. And...no one is moving! So you do what everyone else is doing...the only thing you CAN do. You wait. Why? Because you know from experience that eventually the wreck ahead will be cleared and traffic will once again move and you will be on your way, albeit two hours late.
The waiting room of a doctor's office is duly named. Because there you KNOW when you arrive you are going to wait. And, if your doctor happens to be one in particular that I know but who will remain unnamed, you KNOW that your wait will be at least four to five hours. And as frustrating as that is, you do know that in the end you will see him. How do you know that? Because you always do.
Being in God's waiting room is different. You do not always know what the end result is going to be. In fact, we rarely do. Nor do we know how long we are going to have to wait.
Take Abraham for instance. God told him his descendants would be as numerous as the stars, yet year after year, Sarah remained childless. Old age came upon them and it appeared that God had totally forgotten His promise. But then, at the ripe old age of ninety nine, the waiting ended and Isaac was born. Abraham was in God's waiting room for a very, very long time.
The children of Israel are another prime example of being in God's waiting room. When God led them out of Egypt he promised them a land "of milk and honey" in Canaan. It was a short journey from Egypt to Canaan, approximately 150 miles, and should not have taken them more than a month to get there had they taken the most direct route. But, God had other plans. His ways are not our ways. He had much to teach them along the way and, because they were slow learners, it took them forty years to get there!
However, the Jews that marched around Jericho for seven days...the Jews who blew the trumpet and shouted on the seventh day according to God's command....the Jews who saw the walls of Jericho fall down FLAT...were not the same Jews who left Egypt. They were not the same Jews who complained to Moses that they had been brought out in the desert to die. They were not the same Jews who complained about the food, longing for their leeks and garlic from Egypt. No, these Jews had seen God move in ways they had never dreamed. They had seen facets of His character never known to them before. They had learned that, indeed, he truly WAS the great I AM.
That was God's goal all along. It was not just to get them from point A to point B. It was to reveal to them His character. And when we are often in His waiting room, that is still His plan today.
God's character is multi-faceted just like a beautiful diamond. And every way you look at it reveals a different hue, a different dimension. He wants to reveal Himself to us so that we might enjoy the totality of WHO HE IS.
It is difficult being in His waiting room. We pray for some situation or someone we love, and then we wait....and wait.....and wait.....and wait. Sometimes we wait a short period. Sometimes it is for years. God does not keep us waiting to frustrate us or make us miserable. He waits to be gracious to us. I know...I know...it doesn't feel very gracious when you are the one waiting, I agree. But Isaiah 30:18 reveals God's purpose in waiting, "Therefore will the Lord wait, THAT He may be gracious unto you and therefore will HE be exalted that He may have mercy upon you..........blessed are all they who wait on Him."
So, the next time you find yourself in God's waiting room, know that He has you there to teach you more about Him and to glorify Him. After all, He knows the end from the beginning and He knows the plans He has for you, good plans, plans to give you a hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11) Therefore, My Friend, "wait on the Lord; be of good courage; and He shall strengthen your heart. Wait I say on the Lord." Psalm 27: 14
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