I don’t like waiting. I guess no one does. Waiting is a waste of time.
Waiting is tough. Sometimes it is simply annoying. Sometimes it can be heartbreaking and agonising. Are you waiting for a potential spouse to show up? for a baby to be conceived? for a broken relationship to be healed? for a health issue that seems to never go away? for a problem that you have been struggling for so long ….
These things keep you awake in the middle of the night. It feels like you are waiting in God’s Waiting Room, but His door never seems to open for you.
You echo deeply when you read “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me? … O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer …” (Psalm 22:1-2).
You wonder, Is God punishing me? Have I done something wrong? Does He love me at all? Does He hear my prayer? …. and eventually, Does He care??
If you are in God’s Waiting Room now, here is something that may help you.
1. Be Honest with God
It is important for us to be honest with God. Pray to God. Tell Him exactly how you feel. Don’t hold back. He knows it anyway. Psalm 40:1 says, “I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry (or complaint).”
What if you are running out of words? Don’t worry, be silent and simply meditate on God. The Holy Spirit who is in you understands your pain. He will use your wordless prayer and groaning to pray to God. (Romans 8:26)
2. Draw Strength from God’s Word
The book of Psalms contains a lot of prayers that put our feelings and agony in words. Don’t know where to begin? Try Psalm 22 and 27. Read it. Meditate on it. Memorise it. Use the words and ideas of the Psalms to pray to God. You will be amazed by how much it helps you know God and pray to Him.
One particular Psalm that helps me a lot is Psalm 139. Here is my paraphrase:
“God, no matter where I go, you are there with me. No matter what kind of circumstance I am in, you are there. Even in the direst of all situations, you are there with me. Even if I say, darkness is all that I see; even if I feel that darkness has encircled and overwhelmed me and there is no light around me; even if this is the case, you are still there. For you, even the darkness is not dark to you. What I see as overwhelming darkness is nothing to you at all. In fact, you can make even the darkest of all nights shines like the day ….”
3. Draw Strength from Friends
Do you have a small group of brothers and sisters who can walk with you when you are in God’s Waiting Room? This is why spiritual community is so important. If necessary, look for counselors. You don’t need to feel that only “those” people will seek help from counselor. No. From time to time I seek help from friends and counselors as well. Good, well-trained, Christian counselors have the necessary skills to help you go through difficult times.
4. Deeper Reflection
Don’t waste your waiting time. Like growing a plant, it takes time for us to see any result. The time of waiting feels like a seed being buried underground. It is dark. It is cold. What’s worse? The environment forces the seed to change, tremendously. If the seed has feeling, I guess it will feel great pain with no end in sight.
However, we have a term for this. It is called germination. And germination leads to the flourishing of the plant.
The pain that we are going through and the time that we spent in the Waiting Room is tough. However, God can use all these “junks” as a means to cause to grow. When we respond well, God can turn all things, even the most difficult of our experiences, for our good (Romans 8:28).
We may call this pruning (John 15). Like a Divine Gardener, God is pruning us, cleaning us, and preparing us to be more fruitful in our lives. So, ask yourself, “What do I learn more about God and about myself in God’s Waiting Room.”
Finally, here is one more question for you: Assuming that you are now standing at the end of your waiting time, everything is now in the past, and you are looking back at this journey,
What do you want to say about yourself during this time?