Trust God In The Waiting Room
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23).
We always hear people say “patience is a virtue”. What that means is that the ability to wait for something without getting frustrated or complaining is a valuable quality in a person. A lot of us; myself included don’t have that quality in us. No one likes to wait for anything. Waiting is hard, it’s annoying and it can test our faith. Yet, waiting is a common experience for all of creation. Jesus said He’d return soon. Where is He? We’re all still waiting. Have you ever prayed and prayed for something with no answer? No promise of a “yes” or even a “no”? Just silence? In times like that, waiting can be torturous.
A little over a year ago, while I was in my final year of uni, I spent forever in the waiting room. It was final year so I’d started looking for a job and attending interviews. I didn’t care what type of company employed me, I just knew one thing: I didn’t want to have to move back to Nigeria. So I was praying, more like begging God actually. I heard nothing but I believed and quoted everything in the Bible about all of His promises to me. I literally cried and said stuff like “You’re not man that You would lie”, “Your thoughts towards me are good and not evil”, “Your word says the scripture cannot be broken” etc. Days leading up to my flight back home, I was angry, frustrated and hopeless. I thought God didn’t love me. But I didn’t know He was teaching and moulding me. He was there all along, I just didn’t see that because our thoughts weren’t aligned. The thing about God is that His timing and thought processes are nothing like ours. He rarely does things according to our timeframe. When I thought He didn’t care, He was moving on my behalf. There are reasons why God makes us wait:
- Waiting reveals our true motives. It separates “wants” from “needs”. Even reading the paragraph above, I can tell the difference. My prayers were selfish. I wanted to stay and work in the UK but that wasn’t what was best for me. It wasn’t God’s plan for me and that’s okay because now I have a job, somewhere else but I still have a job.
- Waiting builds anticipation. My parents never bought me presents growing up: not a teddy or a Barbie or a puzzle game. But when I got presents at birthdays or Christmas, the love was real. I said thank you till I stopped hearing “you’re welcome”. When you’ve waited so long for something from Abba, you will appreciate and treasure it much more than something that was just handed to you.
- Lastly, waiting builds intimacy. It helps you to depend on God. It solidifies your faith. It helps you to trust in Him and not your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5). Waiting reminds you that God sees the future and you don’t. Waiting compels you to press into the presence of God so your mind is renewed.
Here are some verses to read during your time in the waiting room:
- Proverbs 28:25 – He that puts his trust in the Lord shall be made fat.
- Isaiah 40:31 – Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
- Lamentations 3:25 – The Lord is good unto those that wait on Him, to the soul that seeketh Him.
- Ecclesiastes 7:8 – Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.
- Micah 7:7 – Therefore I will look unto the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me.
- James 5:7-8 – Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain.You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.
Everything that is happening to you right now as you’re waiting is to prepare you.
If that doesn’t suffice, remember a lot of figures in the Bible had to wait on God’s promises for years and they were blessed once they stepped out of the waiting room. Abraham, for example, did not become a father until he was 100 years old. And even then, God asked him to sacrifice that same son. We all know the story but Abraham didn’t mind because He believed God when He told him he’ll be made a father of many nations. Job lost everything: his family, property and wealth. But he knew God had a plan for his life and so he only cared for what God allowed in his life. God saw this and restored to him twice as much as he had (Job 42:10). The man in Luke 15:11-32 waited patiently for his prodigal son. The story never said how long the son was away for, but the father was waiting on him when he got back, he remained hopeful. Jacob waited 14 years to marry the woman he loved; Rachel. These Bible figures were some of the first people ever to test the waiting room out. Everything that happened to them in the waiting room was used to prepare them, internally as well as externally. Everything that’s happening to you right now as you’re waiting is to prepare you as well.
We serve a God who spoke into nothing and all of creation heard. There is nothing that you will ever need that He won’t provide. It might take a while but it will come at the appointed time. The earth is His (Psalm 24:1) so you just need to trust that He will give you that which is best for you, WHEN it is best for you. Remember that “waiting is not just about what you get at the end of the wait, but about who you become as you wait” (Paul Tripp).
As is my nature, here’s a song for you:
After This – By JJ Hairston & Youthful Praise.