“They that wait upon the Lord,
will renew their strength…”
— Isaiah 40:31
Sitting here in the middle of the night, listening to the rain outside and the stillness inside, I realized that I am in God’s waiting room.
You and I have been here millions of times, and if you are like me, you thought you had learned how to endure the wait. Sleep is a good way to pass the time, but then when awakened, your mind begins to think, to plan, to wonder, to think, and think some more.
Getting up meant only thinking some more, so I began to busy myself. You’ve been there too, I know I am not alone, but we feel we are alone don’t we?
Yes, of course we pray, and as His bride we talk to our Husband—doing our best to listen, but we only hear the rain and our own thoughts. In God’s waiting room, He often chooses to remain silent, except for the few encouraging words that we hear, you know, like the verses that explain just why we must wait—like our opening verse: we wait so that our strength can be renewed. If that’s true why do we often feel weaker?
After reading quite a few devotionals online, I sat here wondering if I could possibly go back to sleep, and if that hot milk I drank would help. For a split second, I thought of turning on the television, but that’s not at all spiritual—I need to do something much more productive! That’s when my compassionate Husband put a thought in my mind that had to be Him. It was a revelation that rang so true, and its principle encompassed everything that you and I are experiencing right now.
What you and I are doing in God’s waiting room is only going to help pass the “time”—it’s simply a means to occupy our time so that the wait doesn’t feel as long. What you and I do during the wait will have nothing at all to do with making the wait shorter—there is simply an “appointed time.” It will also have nothing at all to do with making that “thing” we are waiting for any grander, or more magnificent. Just like every blessing that is bestowed on you and me, it’s all from Him— we didn’t earn it nor do we deserve it, and we are foolish if we think that we do or did. It’s what He longs to give us because we are His bride.
What is it that you are waiting for dear friend and fellow bride? Again, if you are like me it is not just one thing, it is dozens of things: health issues, money issues, ministry issues, relationship issues—and let me not forget to mention—each one appearing hopeless. Well, of course, isn’t that why we are here in God’s waiting room? Are we so foolish that we have forgotten that apart from Him we can do nothing? And isn’t every good gift from above?
So why bother doing anything? Why will you and I bother getting up in the morning and starting a new day, doing the same things, working just as diligently when we know that it will do little to no good to get that appointment with our miracle?
Right before I picked up my computer to get these thoughts on paper, I pictured myself in one of those doctor’s waiting rooms filled with: magazines, people, and closed doors surrounded me. We try to read one of those magazines, but our mind is inside those doors, behind that frosted glass. One by one someone else’s name is called—while we wait.
However, this is not an accurate picture and as I realized it, I had to make the proper adjustments to what I was envisioning. You see, in my mind I have made a set appointment. I may have to wait longer than expected, for some odd reason offices seem to schedule too many patients/clients for the time allotted, but nevertheless, at some point in time, on that day, my name will be called. You see—what I’ve been envisioning isn’t accurate due to one major flaw.
We don’t know exactly when our appointment is, do we? We each hope and pray that our appointment is for today: our miracle, our breakthrough, our situation will change—today—but, alas, tomorrow comes and we often find we are still waiting.
So I let my mind, instead, imagine waiting in some foreign country where there is no guarantee that you or I will be seen, ever. You and I are more like a humble soul who travels by foot where the rumors are told of a missionary who’s come with medicine. So we get there with the great masses of sick and dying, hoping that help will make it through the crowd to find us. There is no appointment, and no need to complain to anyone. Our only hope is to wait, and hope—hoping that we will be seen, and that miraculously we might be helped due to our traveling the distance.
Yes, that describes our situation a bit better, doesn’t it? We simply hope, pray, and hang on to the faith that says that we did hear from God and that His promises were for us. Nevertheless, doubt often creeps in to taunt us, especially when we think of or witness first hand, all those “others” who’d waited, but then for some reason, walked out of God’s waiting room. Why’d they go? Was it because they were too tired to wait or did they realize that God had another plan and they were waiting in the wrong room: the wrong miracle, or wrong prayer, maybe they had the wrong motive for waiting?
Certainly, I can throw out many questions, but where are the answers you ask? Who’s got the answers anyway—clearly not me. Understanding this wait only makes sense when I look back at what God has already done in my life and in your life; only by looking at what He’s done can any of this chaos make sense.
It’s His timing I am talking about.
When I look back at so many times I have waited, I was waiting so that each situation was perfectly set in place. The home that I now live in sat unoccupied for over a year while we waited for over a year to sell our previous house. Why? Well, just one reason was the price. Our builder chose to sell it to us at his cost— just barely breaking even, certainly something he wouldn’t have done had he not had to wait to sell it. Had we not waited to sell our previous house.
Then rewinding to us buying our previous home before the last. That house never even went on the market. When the sellers found themselves with two homes for more than a year, it was then that they decided they had to sell off hundreds of surrounding acres, reduce the price to a ridiculous amount, and only then we were called out of our “waiting room” a very tiny little rental we thought we might live in forever (planning we’d stay just a month or two).
May I also explain that each time we were asked to “wait” it ultimately made our miracle all the sweeter—it was never just about the price we inevitably paid for each (far below what anyone could imagine). No, it was because it made all of us appreciate what He’d done that much more and, for me personally, because it helped me understand. My wait helped me empathize and inevitably be prepared to encourage others who must wait, encouraging them with compassion.
Each and every time we wait will have its own unique purpose, but only when we take the time to look back and see what He’s done. And isn’t that what we have now—time—lots of time?
So rather than just trying to busy ourselves with magazines, or television, or even good works that we hope will amount to something, and get us out of God’s waiting room sooner, I think that looking back at the purpose and perfect plan of previous waiting rooms will prove to be the best method for not just enduring the wait, but enjoying God’s waiting room.
Enjoy the wait.
My Ninth of Many Financial Testimonies
When I got to the end of this chapter I had to stop and think of a financial testimony to write. God does so many things in my life, some big and some small, but with all the amazing ones that I have written so far, I knew I needed a big one to share!
So I stopped writing and asked the Lord to remind me of yet another a financial blessing that has happened that I must have forgotten about, and that’s just what He did. While talking to my daughter on the phone, I mentioned the dates that I would be gone to which she replied, “Oh, are you really going?” While excitedly sharing all the details to what God had done, I realized He had also reminded me of something incredible that He’d also blessed me with!!
The blessing began right after I found the honeymoon trip to Hawaii that I spoke about in chapter 5 “Hopelessly in Need of Him.” That trip had used up only 3000 points but another 2000, would expire by May 31st. Honestly, I hadn’t wanted to go anywhere else after all the traveling I had done over the previous two years, and therefore, at one point, I offered these points to my ex-husband as a blessing. By following the principle in Matthew 5:39—42 of blessing your enemies (when he forcibly took the children to his home when he had promised he would only take them if they wanted to go) is what always takes the sting out of any injustice. Yet, he had refused the blessing of the points, so I’d sought the Lord again about the points that needed to be used. By the way, if you give and it’s not accepted, has no effect on you being blessed—isn’t He just too amazingly wonderful?
With the points I had left, He reminded me of us visiting a quaint little town in the South. Another reason He reminded me of, was that it was something my children had spoken about fairly often—they missed eating at a southern barbeque restaurant that has been our family’s favorite for years. Immediately, their Father and my Husband, in one single stroke, pulled it all together one morning a few weeks ago for us to go! There are so many exciting details about what He’d done, but let me highlight just a few of my favorites:
First, while visiting there, we wanted to go to a popular amusement park again. We’d gone there as a family and it had left fond memories for our children. That’s when He reminded me about the VIP passes but they( weren’t) were no longer valid. Nevertheless, I called and was told that we could get in for half price. Even though I know contentment is what we should have, I was simply led to not “settle” for less than free, so I told my children, “You’ll see, we’ll get in for free. I am not sure how, but how is not my problem, it’s His. And nothing is a problem for my Husband and your Father!”
Two weeks later I opened a letter that included new VIP passes!
And when my daughter opened the letter and began reading, it said, in black and white, that the pass not only gave us FREE admission to the amusement park (in we’d hope to go to), but it went onto say that we’d get some sort of discount to a dinner show where my children have always wanted to go to!! Amazingly awesome, right?!?!
Dear bride, each of us will receive double when we simply look for it and trust that as His bride, and as your children’s Father, amazingly wonderful experiences are in store for us! There’s nothing special about me, He cares for you just as much—simply begin to sense His love surrounding you and return that love that He longs for. Keep Him first in your heart, and you’ll see you and your children blessed. But, yearning for another, and you’ll soon see your life and your children’s life taking on second best too.
The second part, as I mentioned above, our family loves southern food. Once the dates were booked, I went online to see if our favorite southern barbeque restaurant was anywhere close to where we were going. Would you believe that there is one right on our way? Of course, you would since you, as His bride, see things differently! This means we will be able to eat barbeque on our first night and again in the afternoon we leave. Nothing could be as perfect even if I had tried, but it simply fell into place with no effort or thought on my part! Double blessings are His specialty.
Lastly, my favorite blessing is when I was booking our reservations. I’d asked for the dates that I wanted to go to but there were no vacancies, so rather than think I missed what He’d led me to do, I asked what dates were available—then readily agreed to those dates. Are you ready? Just two days ago I realized what dates those were.
You may know my testimony well enough, about how my husband walked in one day and announced he was divorcing me and even though (at the time) it appeared to be a horrible and frightening experience, it had turned out to be one of the greatest blessings of my life. So much so, that I decided to celebrate that special day each year!
I suppose I don’t need to tell you what day the vacation begins on do I? Yes! We begin our vacation on my anniversary. Then, just to make sure that I knew without a doubt it was for that reason, our vacation is beginning on an unusual day, on a Tuesday of all days, on the exact anniversary of the day my earthly husband walked out, officially making me HIS bride!!!