I don’t like waiting!
Patience is something that I struggle with all the time. Waiting is hard, especially you’re not in a very good waiting room. I spent years in an unhappy and unhealthy marriage waiting for God to do something miraculous. When God made it clear to me that my marriage wouldn’t be saved (not the same as couldn’t) I had to wait almost 4 years for it to be over. It was hard, living in the grey is not fun.
When my dad was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer I spent a year waiting for him to get better. When God let me know that he would not be healed on this side of heaven I spent an agonizing three months waiting for the phone call that he was gone. Those were some of the hardest three months of my life. Knowing what is coming doesn’t make waiting any easier.
As much as waiting sucks I have learned some very important things about myself while sitting in the waiting room of life with Jesus.
Lesson #1: Jesus is in the waiting room with you
It is easy to believe the lie that you are all alone while you wait. You are suffering and hurting so bad but no one can see the true extent of your pain. At the beginning of my divorce, it seemed that I had a lot of people on my side and in my corner. That number started to dwindle around the 6-month mark and by year 2 it was down to only a handful.
Satan wants you to feel isolated and alone when you are waiting. He wants to get into your mind and make you feel like hope is gone. Don’t let him. The truth that even if there is no one else with you while you are waiting, Jesus is always in the waiting room with you. There may be times when you can’t see, feel or hear him but he is always there. Take comfort in that!
Lesson #2: What you do in the waiting room matters
When I have to take my boys to the doctor I always make sure that we have something to do while we wait. I take snacks, books to read, paper and crayons anything to keep my boys occupied and out of trouble. For myself, I’ll take a book, my bible or school work so that I can use my time wisely. You need to do the same thing in your life while you wait.
This was a hard lesson for me to learn. In the beginning of my divorce, I didn’t give myself something constructive to do. Instead, I went from destructive thing to destructive thing until I crashed and burned and hit rock bottom. You don’t want to do that!
While you are waiting on God do something that will bless you and others. Get into the Word. Find a bible study and get to know more about yourself and God. Pray! Pray! And pray some more! Look for ways to bless someone else. Spend time with your friends and your family. Start exercising, take a class or try some new recipes. This time of waiting could be God’s way of building your faith and making you stronger. Use this time to let God heal your heart and soul.
Lesson #3: When the wait is over
You will not be in that waiting room forever! There will come a day when your prayers are answered. Be ready for whatever answer God chooses to give. It may be a yes, no or not yet! Remember the lessons that you have learned during that time. Remember the people prayed and encouraged you during that time and return the gesture.
Hold onto the strength that you have built during that time. God builds our spiritual muscles so that we can fight against the devil and to prepare us for future trials. I didn’t realize it at the time but that time spent waiting for my daddy to go to glory was preparation for when God would call my spiritual father home. Those 3 agonizing years of dealing with divorce has helped me learn to control my reactions and depend on God when co-parenting gets tough.
There’s always a blessing on the other side of waiting on God. Abraham waited and was rewarded with being the father of many nations! Hannah waited and was blessed with a son, Samuel! Paul waited and waited and was blessed to be in the presence of the Lord when he died. John waited and was given a divine Revelation from God himself!
They that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:31 (NIV)