The Waiting Room

I’m not sure, but I don’t believe I know of one person who likes waiting. There’s an old cliché statement that the military uses a great deal that says, “Hurry Up and Wait.” It’s describing the troops that are marched from one place to another, or one event to another, only to get there quickly and wait and wait for what is going to happen next.

We certainly live in a world that has been conditioned not to wait on anything. We have fast, almost immediate, communication. You can be next door or on the next continent and e-mail, texting, Instagram, and even the old fashioned phone call is just seconds away and you’re connected. Heaven forbid that any of us should have to wait more than about sixty seconds on anything we want or anything that comes to our mind. We want fast food, quick checkout, and instant gratification for almost anything we can think of.

To wait is absurd and, in the minds of many, evil. Although “wait” is a four letter word, it is not a bad four letter word. In the closing chapter of Luke’s Gospel, he tells that Jesus instructed His disciples to go back to Jerusalem and wait (24:49). Can you imagine Jesus sending out a group text message to all of us with the clear instructions to go to a spot and wait? Wait? You’ve got to be kidding!

Our world has got to be on the go, turning buttons, punching out communications, or just staying busy. We are in a hurry. In fact, for us, it’s a hurry on steroids. We live our lives wanting what we want, when we want it, or even as we might prefer having it available before we want it. Regardless of whether it’s wealth or health, information or inspiration, gas, groceries, intelligence, or weight loss, we want it right now.

People may not have had computers in biblical days, but they were busy then, too. It was to those folks who thought that they needed to be active — maybe not driving at seventy miles an hour but at least walking at a hefty pace — that Jesus said, “Go back to Jerusalem and wait.” I know the rest of the verse says wait “until ye be endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:49).  In our revved-up, hurry-up world, we have lost sight of the fact that there are some things that cannot be rushed.

Hardly a week goes by that someone doesn’t encourage me to keep a sermon short, either implying or directly saying, “Let’s get out of here.” Whether you have the spiritual wisdom to know it or not, worship can’t be rushed up and packaged in increments of nanoseconds. Some things cannot be hurried. Now, I am fully aware there are some things that are dragged out too long and worship leaders, whether leading the music or preaching the sermon, need to be mindful of the limitations that exist in the human experience. However, it is true that some things just take some meaningful time.

Regardless of the advancements in medical technology and all the amazing things that are done with the application of technology in every area of life, it still takes nine months for a baby to develop to term in the mother’s womb. It was nine months when my great-grandmother was born. It was nine months when my brothers and I were born. It was nine months for each of our children and grandchildren and it will stay nine months for this significant event to take place.

Even after the baby arrives, it is impossible to force them to grow up faster than nature allows. There are wonderful developmental stages that people move through, and they have purpose and productivity and you simply have to wait for some of the stages to take place in order for growth to be maximized.

I have known of men who came to know Christ as Savior, born into the family of God, and only weeks or a few months later were called to a church to be pastor or a church wants to make them a deacon. The Apostle Paul cautions us about setting people apart that are novices. Waiting on the Lord is not a bad thing.

The old saying that good things come to those who wait has validity even in our day. When you wait on the Lord, there is strength that comes. Oftentimes there is stability that comes. At times there is sensitivity that comes. Maybe it would be helpful for all of us to stop for a moment, evaluate what is going on in our lives in the busy-ness of our world, and ask God what He would have us to do to help us understand the ways in which He would have us to wait and surrender our wills to Him saying, “Yes, Lord Jesus, I will wait on You.”

Wait on Him. You will be glad you did.

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Jim Futral
Executive Director-Treasurer