(Blog Post by Stan Kellner – www.stankellner.com)
Read Isaiah 40:31
As I am in the midst of a very unexpected job transition, I have often used the phrase in my discussions, “While I’m in God’s waiting room…”
I’ve done a ton of thinking about this phrase that we so often use in our Christian culture today.
Challenges come and we’re waiting for God’s answer. We’re in a tough job situation and we’re waiting for release. We’re in a tough relationship and we’re waiting for help. You get the idea.
By the way, I’m not here to bash anyone’s theology or diss anyone’s book titles, etc. But I do want to share some personal insights that I am gaining regarding the “waiting” process.
Most, if not all of us, have experienced many kinds of waiting rooms in our lives. The waiting room for the dentist office to get a root canal, the doctor’s office waiting to get the biopsy results, the vet’s office waiting to get our pet’s annual shots, etc, etc, etc.
Now, unless you are different than me (and my guess is some of you are!), when I’m in one of those waiting rooms, I’m doing nothing. Well, I’m probably reading the latest People Magazine (like I care about Hollywood gossip) or the latest Forbes magazine (like I’m some big financial tycoon) or staring aimlessly at the clown picture on the wall wondering if there is some deeper meaning in the canvas.
The point is, typically, I’m accomplishing nothing. Oh, I know, today we have notebooks, IPhones, etc. But even then maybe we have our IPhone out and we’re reading, for the fiftieth time, the same text we got two hours ago. Come on. Let’s be honest.
Before I digress, most of my experience is – I’m just sitting, just waiting, just filling space.
Okay, as I’ve been pondering the gravity of the “waiting” periods in my life, I’ve realized that my perception has been that when I say I’m in “God’s waiting room” what I’m really feeling is –
- He has put me on the shelf temporarily.
- He’s busy somewhere else and He’ll get back to me when the time is right.
- Maybe He’s even forgotten about me.
- Maybe this is some unexpected detour that is throwing off God’s plan.
So, if I go by these definitions then…
- The forty years that Moses was on the backside of the wilderness was totally non-productive time
- The periods of time that Joseph spent in prison were of none affect
- The fourteen years that the Apostle Paul was caught up in the third heaven was just a waste of precious time.
- The forty years of the Israelites wilderness wanderings taught them nothing. (By the way, in the Hebrew, the root word for “wilderness or desert” is the root word for “teach”. Ooh. How convicting!)
- The years that David spent as an obscure shepherd boy meant nothing at all.
- God is opening my eyes to increasingly recognize that this waiting period isn’t for naught. He is preparing me, teaching me, preparing the next role, working out the timing, etc.
- This time is NOT a detour but, in fact, I’m smack dab in the middle of God’s will.
- In my Western mindset, my deeply rooted habit patterns tell me that I’ve always got to be productive if I’m going to show the world what a great disciple of Jesus I am.
- I’m increasingly viewing this time through the Hebrew mindset (should be a no-brainer for a Jew like me) that this time is all part of the solidifying process for my faith, my resolve in life, my willingness to persevere in tough times, my ability to be still and hear God’s voice and ponder life’s lessons.
Recently I gained a wonderful insight from a precious sister in Jesus – she told me that the word “wait” in Hebrew can mean “the strengthening of a rope or the tying together of the chords of the rope to make it stronger”.
Wow! Could it be that this is, in fact, a necessary time in my life that God is using to strengthen me so that I may be more effective in my serving Him in whatever role He leads me? I think – YES!
So, I’ve quit saying “While I’m in God’s waiting room…” Instead, I’m saying, “As I’m on God’s appointed journey…”
How about you?