by Susan Meissner
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 (NIV)
Picture a doctor’s waiting room: cushioned chairs, a display of colorful magazines, soothing music wafting above your head, perhaps an aquarium of sparkling fish. Why does the doctor provide such a calming environment? Because he or she knows that by and large, people do not like to wait there. Truth is, we don’t much like to wait anywhere for any length of time.
And we often cringe at the mere idea of waiting on God – more than any other kind of waiting. He is so frequently not in a hurry. We don’t want to learn patience by waiting, though it is often the best way to learn it.
But consider for a moment the flipside. Consider for a moment those times when the waiting room door has been thrown open but we’re still sitting in the chair by the fish, afraid to get up, get out and get moving. Sometimes we find ourselves in situations where we sense God nudging us to step out, but instead we’re oddly content to just wait it out – perhaps hoping someone else will make the move we’re supposed to make.
Just as there are times when God wants us to wait on Him; there are times when He calls us to action. And just as we need to listen for His voice in times of waiting, we need to obey His prompting when the wait is over.
When God told Moses to send spies into the land of Canaan, only two of the twelve came back from the mission ready to do what God was prompting them to do. The others wanted to head back to the waiting room, grab a magazine and hang out with the fish! They were afraid to move forward in faith, even though they had seen God time and again prepare a way for them in the wilderness and then lead them through it. God asked that these people take a step of faith and trust Him for what lay past the waiting room door. He didn’t kick them out of the waiting room. He asked them to leave it, and they chose not to. History shows us what they missed (Numbers 13:26-14:25).
Are there perhaps blessings you have asked for but then have refused to pursue? Have you been hanging back in the waiting room – perhaps because you’ve allowed fear to convince you it’s better to be safe and ineffective than risk being used by God?
The waiting room has its purpose. It is the place where you get mentally ready for what comes next. You are not meant to live there. You were designed for the world outside. And it waits for you!
Susan Meissner is a multi-published author, speaker and writing workshop leader with a background in community journalism. Her novels include Lady in Waiting, a story that combines a contemporary tale with a glimpse into the life of Lady Jane Gray, the nine-day queen of England. She is a pastor’s wife and a mother of four young adults. When she’s not writing, Susan directs the Small Groups and Connection Ministries program at her San Diego church. Visit Susan at her website: http://www.susanmeissner.com/.
Today, I’m giving away a copy of Susan’s book “Lady in Waiting”. I enjoyed it so much, I read it in two days! It was one of those books I just didn’t want to end; it was just too good. I will be choosing a winner from our comments today. Just share a time when you had to wait and struggled to do so! It doesn’t have to necessarily be a time when you enjoyed it (I mean, who does!) or even when you had victory, just a time of growth. I’m looking forward to hearing your story….just click on comments below!
The winner from Friday’s book “The Friendship Factor: Why Women Need Other Women” by Brenda Poinsett is Jill. Congrats Jill at firstname.lastname@example.org. Congrats Jill!