Is there anyone else out there who feels as if you’ve been sitting in God’s waiting room for so long that it’s beginning to feel like home? For months you’ve been camping out there, thinking “surely this is only temporary!” OK, so you’ve brought in the coffee pot and a few beloved books. But now, let’s face it: You may as well move in all the furniture. Looks like you’ll be here a while.
That’s how I feel on this February day. 2013 has gotten off to a rough start in a lot of ways. But the house . . . It’s been on the market over ten months now. Approximately 75 showings. It sold. And then it unsold (due to buyers’ personal circumstances). And now the clock is ticking toward the closing on our next home. And we are still waiting. And praying. And praying. And praying. And praying.
I think a lot about God’s sovereignty in the waiting room. I feel like those three young men faced with the fiery furnace in Daniel. They knew what God could do. But they didn’t know what God would do. Either way, He was still God. Either way, they would still worship Him. And only Him.
As I sit here on my bench in the waiting room, God keeps reminding me of words from Andrew Murray which seem to have been written directly to me:
“In time of trouble, say, “First, He brought me here. It is by His will that I am in this place; in that I will rest.” Next, “He will keep me here in His love, and give me grace in this trial to behave as His child.” Then say, “He will make this trial a blessing, teaching me lessons He intends me to learn, and working in me the grace He intends to bestow. “ And last, say, “In His good time, He can bring me out again. How and when, He knows.” Therefore, say: “I am here 1) by God’s appointment, 2) in His keeping, 3) under His training, 4) for His time.”
—Andrew Murray, quoted in Calm My Anxious Heart, by Linda Dillow, p. 171
Hmm. God’s appointment. His training. His timing. And words about grace: He will “give me grace in this trial to behave as His child . . . working in me the grace He intends to bestow.” How should His child act in this trial? What does “grace bestowed” look like? Well for starters, not the way I often act: anxious, fearful, pacing, worrying myself and everyone around me to distraction.
So here I am, still in the Waiting Room. Under His training. I have a lot left to learn. But I want to share with you just a few tips I’m learning in my prolonged sit-in. Call it “Things To Do While Waiting”:
- Cry when you need to. God hears our cries.
- Vent when you need to. That’s what friends (and husbands) are for.
- Read the Psalms. A lot. Almost any will do, but good starters are Psalms 42-43, 46, 37, and 34.
- Whine as little as possible. I should say, “Don’t whine.” But I’m just being realistic.
- Follow Oswald Chambers’ advice and “Do the next thing”—whatever that may be.
- Try living Philippians 4:6-7, turning your worries into prayers.
- Remember that you are not alone. God sits with you in the Waiting Room.
- Remember that, despite what may seem evidence to the contrary, God is good—all the time. And loving—all the time. And sovereign—all the time.
- Keep praying. Keep talking to God, even if your voice is barely a whisper.
- Ask Him to help you with trust, which is the bottom line. “Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.” Help me, Lord, to learn to trust you more.
This is definitely not a finished list, but just some thoughts from my bench in the Waiting Room. I pray that one or two might help someone else out there in another Waiting Room.