Summary: This sermon is a part of the Spiritual First Aid series and looks at our waiting on the Lord when we find ourselves in His waiting room.
Spiritual First Aid
“God’s Waiting Room”
One of the hardest things we can do is wait. If there’s one thing we probably hate more than anything else, it is waiting.
We hate to wait for the traffic light to turn green especially when there is no one else on the road, or at least half mile away. We also hate waiting in a line, especially when the line next to us is moving faster, but when we move over it slows down and the line we were in is now the fastest.
Waiting is not our forte. We see this especially in our society where fast food, remote controls, and microwave ovens are the norm, the reality of life.
But it’s when we’re in pain that the waiting becomes intolerable, whether that pain is emotional or physical. That’s probably why we hate going to the doctor’s office, because once we check in we’re told to wait in the one place we hate to be, the waiting room.
I think it’s safe to say that “the waiting room” is one of the most dreaded places on planet earth. Here we are, in trouble and in pain, and we’re told to wait, and we know it’s going to be a pretty long wait, because anyplace that has couches, stacks of magazines, and a TV set turned to soap operas, we know we’re in for the long haul.
We don’t do well at waiting, which is often the case when it’s God we’re waiting upon.
What happens is that God gives us a promise, but when it doesn’t come to pass in our time frame, instead of waiting patiently, we try to speed up the process through our own manipulations. And when that fails to produce the desired results we then start the negotiation process.
“Lord, if you do this for me then I’ll go to church or read my Bible.”
Notice the vagueness of these promises we’re making. We leave out going to church every week, and reading the Bible every day. And the reason is because we’re holding that out till later on when further negotiations are needed.
And then we get to that age-old question, “If God could create in the world in six days, then why can’t He take care of our problems a whole lot sooner?” Why does God make us wait months if not years when He could do it immediately?”
The answer lies in that He is God and we’re not. If God is going to grow us into what He’s called us to be, then He has to heal us of the one thing we don’t want to be healed of, and that is our independence. To do this He places us in His waiting room to learn patience and receive the strength to face whatever lies ahead, which is something only He knows.
Throughout the Bible we see those who have great faith go through this very same process of getting the promise, trying to work out the promise in their own strength and ability, and then receiving the promises through waiting upon the Lord.
The Lord gave to Joseph dreams of greatness, but instead of holding them in his heart, he blabbed them to his family. In these dreams, his whole family would honor him by bowing before him.
Well this didn’t sit well with his family, especially his brothers. Seeing their chance to get rid of this dreamer and father’s little pet, they sold him to slave traders who were passing through.
Joseph ended up in Egypt as a slave, and then later as a prisoner. While he was a prisoner, the Lord gave Pharaoh a dream, and with his gift of interpretation Joseph correctly interpreted it. He then rose to the second highest position in Egypt, if not the world.
A famine came just as he predicted, which saw his brothers come to Egypt to buy food, all bowing before him. First dream fulfilled. Next Joseph had them bring their father and family to Egypt where they could live and escape the famine. Upon seeing Joseph, his father Jacob bowed before him, and the second dream became a reality.
Joseph waited, putting his complete trust in the Lord, and while things looked hopeless as a slave and prisoner, God’s promises were fulfilled.
Moses in like manner had to wait. Finding out his Jewish heritage while being raised as a son to Pharaoh’s daughter, Moses didn’t wait for God’s timing to deliver His people, so Moses took matters into his own hands and killed an Egyptian who had brutally beaten a fellow Jew.
But his crime was found out and fearing for his life he ran into the wilderness, to the country of Midian. There he married, watched over his father-in-law’s flocks, and raised a family for 40 years.