The Waiting Game

Have you ever heard a song that maybe you have heard before, but for some reason you actually listened to it this time, and the Lord used it to speak to the deep places in your heart?  I had that happen to me recently.

I was busy in my kitchen doing dishes and getting lunch ready.  As is pretty usually for me, I was listening to the Christian radio station while I was doing my work.  And on came a song that made me stop, turn up the volume, and truly listen to the words.  I had heard the song before.  It has been around for a few years.  It is even on the movie “Fireproof” which I have watched quite a few times.  But for some reason, it hit me differently this time.  The song is called, “While I’m Waiting” by John Waller.  Here is an excerpt from the song:

I’m waiting, I’m waiting on You Lord

And I am hopeful, I’m waiting on You Lord

Though it is painful, but patiently I will wait

And I will move ahead bold and confident

Taking every step in obedience

While I’m waiting I will serve You

While I’m waiting I will worship

While I’m waiting I will not faint

I’ll be running the race even while I wait

I’m waiting, I’m waiting on You Lord

And I am peaceful, I’m waiting on You Lord

Though it’s not easy no, but faithfully I will wait

Yes, I will wait

And I will move ahead bold and confident

Taking every step in obedience

We all experience it.  We like to call it the “Waiting Game.”  It seems like we wait all the time in our everyday lives.  We wait in line at the grocery store, at the bank, at the DMV, at a stop light, at the doctor’s office.  But we wait in our spiritual lives as well.  We wait for God’s direction and guidance.  We wait for Mr. or Mrs Right to enter into our lives.  We wait for God’s healing.  We wait for blessing.  We wait.  We seek answers from God.  We pray.  And we continue to wait.  But what are we doing while we wait?

Time is precious and I don’t really want to waste it.  That’s why when I am in the kitchen and I have something in the microwave, I wipe the counters while I’m waiting.  When I am baking something in the oven, I don’t just stand there and stare at the it until the buzzer goes off saying its done (assuming I remembered to start the timer! 🙂 )  No, I do something else while I am waiting.  I do the dishes.  I change the laundry.  I talk to my kids.  I prepare another part of the meal.  Or, sometimes, I sit down and check out what’s happening in the world via Facebook.  The point is that I actually DO something while I am waiting.

So why should it be any different in my spiritual life?  When I am waiting on God, I should keep doing what I know I need to do.  As the song says, I should worship and serve while I am waiting.  I shouldn’t just “stand around” saying, “Okay, God.  I am waiting for you to show me what the next step is, so I’m just gonna not read my Bible while I wait for your answer.”  Or, “God, I asked you to help us financially as we are struggling.  I’ll just wait here for you to fix that and then I will get back to teaching Sunday School.”  But sadly, all too often, those are the exact things I do.

Those are not the responses I should have.  A good example of doing it right is found in the Bible.  In the Old Testament, God told Abraham to “Go,” but that was about all the information He gave.  He didn’t even tell him where to go.  Yet still, Abraham obeyed and went.  He did what He was supposed to do until the next step was shown.  Was it easy?  Surely not!  Was Abraham maybe a little apprehensive and fearful?  I think so!  He was moving all his family to who knows where and it would take who knows how long to get there.  But he trusted that God would show him the answers in His time.  And God did.  God always does.

So yes.  We all wait for things in our lives.  We have things we want to see happen in our family, our church, our own life.  But while we are waiting for God to give His answer or to show us the next step, we need to keep doing what we are doing.  Keep serving.  Keep reading our Bibles.  Keep attending church.  Keep on.  As a famous animated fish says, we need to “just keep swimming.”  It won’t be always easy.  Sometimes it will be hard, maybe even painful.  But we can move ahead with boldness and confidence that God will show us in proper time, and we can find comfort in doing what we can while waiting.

And while we are doing these things while we are waiting, we will be more focused on the Lord and not on ourselves, giving ourselves less time to doubt, fear, worry or backslide.

Hmm… Suddenly the “Waiting Game” doesn’t seem so hard.

~Emily

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