Summary: Part One from a series of messages titled “The Waiting Room”: discovering what God reveals to us in these moments of waiting.
The Waiting Room
“Crisis of Faith”
How many people like waiting? (Show of Hands)
When I say the words “Waiting Room”, what images come to mind?
If we were to poll everybody today, I’m sure we would all have a “waiting room” story to tell… Mine happened with:
- Overcrowded waiting room
- Waiting for over an hour and a half
- Watching others leave upset
- 2 minutes with the doctor!
Let’s be honest today, we hate to wait! To the point that quality of service is not as important as speed of service!
In hindsight, this story was probably not as dramatic as I tell it. I would go as far to say in the grand scope of my life it wasn’t really that big a deal at all. Yes it was an incredible inconvenience to my day, but in a week’s time I had already moved on to another incredible inconvenience in my life; another waiting room.
Today we’re starting a series called “The Waiting Room”: What does God reveal to us in the moments of waiting?
From time to time, we all find ourselves in a very different kind of waiting room. This holding pattern is unlike any other I will experience, because it is not necessarily physical and the wait time truly indefinite:
1. God’s Waiting Room
- It’s a season of transition
- It’s a life altering event or tragedy
- It’s a wake up call to life change
- It’s a season of rest
- It’s a time of refinement
No matter what brought you to this moment in God’s waiting room, one thing is certain in all situations: it is for a purpose!
Romans 8:28 (NIV)
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
The common misconception of this verse is that God is working for my benefit so life should be peaches! What this verse is really saying is God is using all things, whether we perceive it to be good or bad, for his ultimate glory.
All things. Wrap your mind around that thought for a second. This should give you hope!
It means that no matter:
- Where I think I should be
- Whatever job I think I should have
- Whatever relationship I think I should be in
- Whatever goal or mark I expect to hit in life
- Whatever way I have fallen short
- Whatever tragedy or injustice that has entered into my life
- Whatever material good I think I should possess but don’t
All of it—I have or have not because God is working through me for His good. All things.
God’s waiting room is tough place to be. It can be a lonely, confusing and an altogether heartbreaking space. But even in this, God is still GOD. He can see what I can’t, and has purpose in all He carries me through. God will use this for His good purpose.
Today we need a reset in thinking from the ground level up…
2. The Authority of Faith
From the outset I want to state the obvious that I believe most believers selectively forget: God’s Waiting Room is a necessity for spiritual growth! - We must go through it...
James 1:2-4 (NIV)
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
We need these downtimes in life in order to be made stronger. It is unavoidable! We are partakers in Life, and it is not always a pretty or easy thing is it?
So the trick is not to avoid do our best to avoid these moments of waiting in life, but to seek how God is using these things for good.
A little over two months ago there was a passage of scripture that gave me a literal gut check. In Matthew 8 we see a picture of Jesus the Action Hero: healing folks with leprosy, calming a raging storm in the middle of a lake, and casting out demons! But the story that stood out:
Matthew 8:5-10 (NIV)
When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. 6 "Lord," he said, "my servant lies at home paralyzed and in terrible suffering."
7 Jesus said to him, "I will go and heal him."
8 The centurion replied, "Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, 'Go,' and he goes; and that one, 'Come,' and he comes. I say to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it."