“A soul cannot seek close fellowship with God, or attain the abiding consciousness of waiting on Him all the day, without a very honest and entire surrender to all His will.” Andrew Murray
Most of us hate to wait. We can access technology to avoid waiting; we can order our jeans online to avoid the agony of long lines; we can ask Google our questions instead of waiting for an answer from a person; we can even hop on the internet to schedule dinner reservations to skip waiting for a seat at our favorite restaurant. We sometimes think of wait as a four-letter word. And it is, of course, but “wait” is not a cuss word. We must wait in a doctor’s office or for test results…and that makes us feel out of control. And we are. But what if our attitude was adjusted to focus on how we wait?
God doesn’t move any swifter in the twenty-first century than he did in the first. We can’t rush God, but we can allow the time we spend in the “waiting room” to be a time of great personal growth. So we all have a choice: how will we wait? It helps to “invite God into the waiting room.” With this step of faith, we are allowing God to have his way and his will while we wait with him, instead of on him. To put it simply, “God’s will be done, no matter how long it takes.” When we invite God to be part of whatever or whomever we are waiting on, our dark fears, clouded doubts, and gloomy impatience can be countered with the light of his word.
Maybe in the past, you, like me, have responded to God with your emotions and with reluctance born of caution instead of handing your situation over to him in faith. Did you know that 80 percent of our problems stem from how we feel about ourselves? There are times I don’t feel I am worthy of the blessings God wants to give me. To invite God into my “waiting room,” I have to do these three things:
- Stop. Emotions can serve us like a warning light on the dashboard of our car that tells there is something in the engine that needs attention. As we might feel depressed or upset about facing an issue, it is time to stop and pay attention to our emotions. It’s essential for us to spend time alone with God and explain our feelings to him, not just aloud, but by writing them down in our Bible or journal. By doing this, we let God know willing to pause, allow him time to teach us and choosing to submit to his plan. “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland” (Isaiah 43:19).
- Confess. At a time God was moving in my life, doing something good, yet I was afraid of the unknown. I had to stop and boldly told God about my fear, procrastination, and pride. I explained to him I didn’t think I was worthy of the blessings he wanted to give to me. I compared myself to other women, and old doubts of insecurity crept in again, overshadowing everything God had shown me in the past. I had to come against and reject condemning, shaming, and blaming thoughts; by reviewing his promises, I could dig down deep into what is true. The condemning thoughts were not from him. “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).
- Believe. By faith, I reaffirmed my understanding that God was working behind the scenes and that no matter how long the wait or what I sensed was ahead, God’s sovereignty was at work. I renewed my faith in God’s providence and kept studying God’s word, which brought peace and hope. “You have heard these things; look at them all. Will you not admit them? From now on I will tell you of new things, of hidden things unknown to you” (Isaiah 48:6). God asked me to wait on him and his timing.
In a time of recovery, you can be sure you will spend time in God’s waiting room. It helps to invite God into the waiting room with us, but we must remember that although doubt may join us there, too, we will not let it remain. When God waits with us, our faith is strengthened, our hope is renewed.
Exerts from Sheryl Giesbrecht Turner’s latest book release: “It’ll Be Okay: Finding God When Doubt Hides the Truth” (pages 121 – 125)