Learning to wait patiently seems to be a lifelong lesson. I remember Christmas mornings as a young girl, sitting beside the decorated tree in our family’s living room and drooling over the stack of wrapped gifts. “Can I open one…just one…pull-eeeeze?” I begged.
“No,” said my dad. “You have to wait until Mom has finished stuffing the turkey.”
“Turkey? Forget the stupid bird and feed me bologna sandwiches,” I felt like saying. “I just wanna open my gifts!” But Mom and Dad and the dead bird won, and I was forced to wait until the time was right.
Years have passed, and I’m still learning to wait patiently. The issue isn’t unopened Christmas gifts, however – thankfully I’ve outgrown that one. Now I’m learning to wait for God to answer specific prayers for family and friends. One struggles with chronic pain. Another longs to meet Mr. Right. One desperately needs a pay increase. Another needs a place to live. Every day I knock on heaven’s door and ask God to do something on these people’s behalf – to grant healing, a godly husband, an employer’s favor, and a home – and I see nothing happen. And so I wait…and I knock…and I wait some more.
Waiting to open Christmas gifts wasn’t a fun activity for me when I was a kid. Neither is waiting for God to answer my prayers today, but I’m developing patience. I’m learning to let go of my expectations to embrace God’s eternal purposes. I’m developing an attitude of anticipation: What’s God up to? How is He going to answer? And I’m beginning to understand the meaning of Galatians 5:5 – “But we who live by the Spirit eagerly wait to receive everything promised to us who are right with God through faith.”
And so, even though the answers to prayer seem a long time coming, I choose to wait…eagerly…joyfully…patiently…for I know that God’s timing is perfect. He is never late.
How about you? Have you ever spent time in God’s waiting room? What lessons have you learned there?