Have you ever noticed that your time table and God’s seem to rarely match up? It seems to me we are always waiting for something—waiting to be done with school, waiting to get promoted, waiting to buy a house, waiting to have children, waiting, waiting, waiting! And then it struck me, if so much of my life is spent waiting, then maybe God has a purpose for that. What am I supposed to learn in the interim phases of life?
Often I find when I am wallowing in the waiting, it is helpful for me to recapture a proper perspective. It’s so easy for us to think we are isolated cases, that no one else is experiencing this and we are all alone. This is simply not true. God gave us so many examples in the Bible; our job is to find those stories that apply to our season of life. Consider the following biblical characters* and the seasons of waiting they went through:
- Abraham waited 25 years before his wife Sarah gave birth to their first child.
- Joseph slogged through 13 years of betrayal, false imprisonment, and abandonment before assuming the leadership of Egypt.
- Moses spent 40 years tending sheep before God called him as a deliverer of His people.
- David fled from Saul for 14 years before the throne of Israel would be his.
- And in Jesus’ own ministry, He often told his disciples “My hour has not yet come.”
It seems God has a purpose for placing us on hold sometimes. It is so easy to think that because I don’t see anything happening in my life, God has forgotten about me. Maybe while I think nothing is happening, God is orchestrating everything to fall exactly into place. Consider this from Habakkuk: “Look at the nations and be amazed! Watch and be astounded at what I will do! For I am doing something in your own day, something you wouldn’t believe even if someone told you about it. ” (Habakkuk 1:5 Habakkuk 1:5Behold you among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvelously: for I will work a work in your days which you will not believe, though it be told you.
American King James Version×, NLT, emphasis added).
So what can we do while we’re in the waiting rooms of life??
1. Prepare your hands
If you are single waiting to get married, devote yourself to preparing to be a husband or a wife. Have you researched what God will require of you? Have you cataloged the scriptures that will help you if He does call you to be married? If you’re waiting on a promotion then make it your mission to hone in your interviewing skills, take classes to enhance your marketability, and update your resumé. Waiting to begin a family? There is so much material out there! Fertility, taking care of children, motherhood, discipleship, etc. You could also focus on laying a sturdy foundation for your marriage before having children. Whatever the next phase of life is, there is much you can do to physically prepare yourself for success in it!
2. Prepare your heart
Every new phase of life will challenge us, stretch us and hopefully cause us to grow. In order for something new to produce positive change in us, we must prepare. We cannot expect to succeed without preparation. Basically when we’re in a waiting room we should do anything but wait. I think part of preparing my heart for the next phase is asking myself, will I would submit to God regardless of what the next phase is? If I don’t get what I want, how will I react? Am I actively learning to be content where I am? There is much preparation in my heart and in my mind that must be done. I must let God work out the hardened spots within me. It is most often at this point that He allows me to move forward.
Editor’s note: This blog was published with permission by the author, who originally published it on her personal website on March 29, 2013, at http://awisewomanbuildsherhome.wordpress.com/2013/03/29/praising-god-in-the-waiting-room