The Waiting Room

Lately, it seems I’ve been spending all my time waiting. My dad and I waited over an hour for a walk-in lab test. Pete and I waited an entire afternoon for some thunderstorms to pass through the area so we could play outside on our date day. And it seems as though our family has been waiting forever for our new granddaughter to be born! (She’s due soon, very, very soon!)

Even though I’ve been frantically busy, rushing from appointment to appointment and task to task, it’s the waiting that gets my attention. (Maybe because I’ve been so busy, and I don’t think I have time to wait?)

God doesn’t seem to mind waiting at all. In fact, He seems to make a point of forcing us to wait for things. Instead of getting on the ball and accomplishing something, he instructs us to develop patience.

Patience? I don’t have time for patience! Hasn’t God paid any attention to the length of my to-do list? I have deadlines. People are depending on me.

I’ve come a long way in trusting God. With years of practice, I now know He will provide for my family no matter what our bank balance is. He watches over our grown daughters, their spouses, and their children. He provides significance and meaning to my life.

In fact, I thought I was doing pretty well on the maturity scale—until I started spending all my time waiting. Why do I struggle so much with trusting God with my time?

Maybe it’s because, while I know that God has unlimited amounts of money, food, clothing, etc., I believed that time was a limited resource. We are all given 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. How could God work around those restrictions?

Silly me. I had forgotten Who made time in the first place.

Time is no barrier to God. Consider Abraham and Sarah, who waited so very long for Isaac. I’m sure they thought time had run out, but God had other plans.

Or, what about the time when Joshua was fighting the Amorites? He needed a longer day in which to defeat them, so God stopped the rotation of the earth!

So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged itself on[a] its enemies, as it is written in the Book of Jashar. The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day. (Joshua 10:12-14)

Want more time? Just ask God—He has plenty!

And I worry about getting home too late to start dinner on time?

Upon reflection (done while waiting, of course), I realized that complaining about “wasting time” was actually telling God that my priorities were more important than His. Ouch.

I’m trying hard to remember that God has permission to interrupt my day, to reschedule my life to suit His purposes. Sometimes He tells me why I’m waiting. Other times, I have no idea. In the meantime, is there something constructive I could be doing while waiting? Of course there is. The best part is that, while some of these things are important, I don’t get around to them as often as I should. Could God be trying to tell me something?

Just for starters, here’s a list of things I can do while waiting:

Pray for others, read a book, dust the dashboard (good for long red lights), catch up with friends on Facebook, write thank you notes, text my husband and kids and tell them I love them, praise God, plan the week’s meals, think, make a market list, take a nap, thank God for His many blessings, work on a portable sewing/craft project, plan next year’s garden, meditate on Scripture, delete bad photos, start a Christmas list, relax, read the news, smile at people (great for the line at the post office), catch up on the blogs I follow, jot down ideas for this blog.

Maybe waiting isn’t such so annoying after all.

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