The Weight of Waiting
By Van Walton

“Why doesn’t the Almighty bring the wicked to judgment? Why must the godly wait for him in vain?” Job 24:1 (NLT)

My must-have-in-order-to-survive-today’s-busy-lifestyle high-tech equipment doesn’t function right. After dialing technical support and listening to instructions, I press one button and then another. Finally the phone rings. And rings. Relieved when I hear a voice, I anticipate a rapid resolution. Instead, I get a recording, “Please WAIT for the next available agent.”

Arghhhh! I don’t like having to wait. It can bring out the worst in me. Once after a long holding session, I actually threw my phone across the room, fell in a heap on the floor, and sobbed!

God knows me. He is well aware of my weaknesses. So He calls me to His workout room were my weights are actually waits. “Here lift these. When you have completed this exercise, you will emerge a stronger woman.”

So I begin to “strength train” with the waits in my life.

Daily I encounter light waits that serve as a warm up for the heavier waits. How I behave as I wait in line at the post office or grocery store, for example, becomes a testimony to my growing strength and maturity. Sure I sometimes drop the load rather than handle the wait well … I occasionally give in to impatient eye rolling, snide under-my-breath comments, or quick steps to assure my place in line.

Thankfully, God believes in me as a savvy coach believes in his well-chosen athletes. He hasn’t given up on me. He continues to assign me to His wait room where I’m learning daily “wait training” strengthens me for the larger times of waiting. Like the time I had to wait for my first job. As I waited for a call back, my self-esteem plummeted. Yet in God’s good timing He opened the doors to the perfect position. Or, the time I waited as my dad’s health deteriorated. Sadness threatened to overwhelm me. But I emerged from God’s wait room wrapped in my Father’s comfort, having learned to trust Him.

I’ve discovered that waiting isn’t a waste of time, but an opportunity to grow my character. When the wait feels impossible I try to focus on building patience and my relationship with Jesus, rather than fretting. I spend a lot of time in God’s wait room. Next time you find yourself there, remember that God provides the ability to endure when we willingly yield to His strength training process.

Father God, please forgive me for my impatient behavior when having to wait on You. Help me to use time of waiting to grow stronger in You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
The Character of God: Understanding His Heart for Us by Brian T. Anderson & Glynnis Whitwer
Visit Van Walton’s blog for more insights on waiting

From the Pound to the Palace by Van Walton

Application Steps:
Make a list of the times you have been challenged to wait. Beside each describe your reactions. How can you better hand these situations?

Reflections:
What possible reasons could God have that I should have to wait?

Have the challenges I faced while I waited improved my character or exposed my true nature?

Do I believe God can use the down time of waiting to draw me closer to Him? How?

Power Verses:
Psalm 5:3, “In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; …I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.” (NIV)

Isaiah 49:23 b, “Those who wait for me shall not be put to shame.” (ESV)

Romans 15:4, “…the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled.” (NLT)
© 2008 by Van Walton. All rights reserved.


5 Comments:

Blogger Rob And Jainnie said...

What a timely devotion. These past 2 years have been a "waiting" time for me. God impressed upon my heart a promise I was to see fulfilled. Just when things seemed to "fall" into place and the fulfillment of the promise at hand, I was only challenged again to wait.

I would go back to the Lord and "pretend" I was patiently waiting only to be lovingly confronted of my impatience. Finally, I just cried in sheer frustration which was met by kindness.

My waiting times have taught me God does not take pleasure in painfully making us wait. He waits right alongside us. Because He knows the outcome, He can cheer us on when we want to quit. In the journey I'm in waiting for my promise to be fulfilled, I have seen God use this to affect others as well.

Thank you.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great analogy!! I lift weights, so this was perfect for me. I've been in a long waiting period also, and have become stronger, but only saw that as I read your devotion. Paul talks somewhat about developing "spiritual muscle" vs. physical muscle...of course I'm paraphrasing, but it sure makes sense!

Blogger Judith Hernandez said...

Thank you Van:

It is very important to learn wating on God's time is not a waste of time.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will always carry with me the picture of lifting weights while I wait and realize I am building character- muscle and faith-muscle. Thanks for your sharing. It helps.

Anonymous Aminu Rahaman said...

Thanks a lot for this wonderful article. In our walking with God, He uses the waiting time to strengthen our faith in Him. May God help us to keep through because it is always a time of triumph for God over the adversary of our soul when we hold the foert all the way.

When God finally attend to us as he had promised we will triumph over the devil that and show that our love for God is not conditional upon what we get from Him but perfect. At such time we would have matured to the point of being succor to others that are in need of support from our testimony.

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