The Intrusive Opportunity of Waiting

Whether it be something as simple as waiting in line at the local coffee shop or as difficult as a pending medical diagnosis, waiting is a part of life and it is also a part of the Christian’s life. The difference is that once we enter into new life with Christ, our time in the waiting room takes on new meaning. Our ability to understand the spiritual truths concerning waiting is vital to our continued spiritual growth and development. Waiting’s intrusion becomes opportunity. We can trust the Spirit to give us the strength to bear our circumstances and enable us to use time of waiting to grow in our intimacy with the Lord.

“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” - Psalm 27:14

While in the waiting room, we are apt to stumble about. Our perspective on waiting is one of the ways our society is out of stride with a biblical worldview. Not that waiting was easy for our ancestors, but they were more at peace with it. Throughout the Bible and even specifically regarding the coming Messiah, waiting is a regular refrain in the life of faith. Waiting well requires patience and humility. Waiting well demands we submit to a God who is sovereign. He alone is the One who controls the clock and the calendar. Full submission admits God is sovereign and I am not.

It is not in our abilities to know the time or way in which God will work things out. He has however given us the ability to rest solely in God’s knowledge. Our role is to trust his promises and wait with hope, as God brings about his good work in us and for us. The experience of waiting on God reminds us that it is not our circumstances that define our reality. Rather, it is the truth of Christ’s love and life in us. This it what gives us hope in the waiting. (Rom. 8:28-29, Ecclesiastes 3:11, Isaiah 55:8-9, Philippians 1:6)

Don Whitney reminds us of the freedom we have in the reward of discipline, and within spiritual disciplines is Jesus Christ’s own expectation of those who are his. Whitney emphasizes “Don’t think of prayer as an impersonal requirement. Realize that it is a person, the Lord Jesus Christ, with all authority and with all love, who expects us to pray.” Obedience to the Lord while waiting is not to remain inactive or passive. Practically, we are to set aside time each day to communicate with God through prayer and his Word. If you find yourself in the waiting room, these spiritual disciplines provide help if we purpose to put into practice what God has told us is best:

Seek God.

Redirect your focus by looking upward instead of inward. Dwelling on ourselves in the midst of our circumstances has potential to cause anxiety. Recalibrate the focus of your faith by moving the weight of your trust off self and others by consciously reorienting your thoughts on God. 

“Yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;” - Proverbs 2:3-6

Go to the Word.

It is vital to spend time daily in God’s Word – Bible reading and study gives guidance. The Scriptures are the voice of God and where the Spirit does his best work.

“But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by he rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.” - Psalm 1:2-3 "Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience." - Col. 3:12


Spend time in prayer each day – As you read his Word you have an opportunity to pray God’s promises coupled with biblical meditation. Allow truth to settle in your heart and mind.

“I will meditate on Your precepts, and contemplate Your ways.” – Psalm 119:15 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” – Romans 12:2


We eagerly await Christ’s return, trusting all his promises will be made good. We have hope!

“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.” - Phil. 3:20-21

It is in the delays and the pauses of life we become aware of our lack of patience. God works to save us from self-reliance and revitalize our faith and hope in him. As is common in biblical indicatives and imperatives, we do play a part in our waiting. Seeking the Lord’s help in humility, going to the Word, and routine prayer with meditation provide powerful opportunities to welcome God into every moment of our waiting. In spiritual disciplines we keep our hearts focused on and renewed in him, even in the midst of waiting.

For further reading:

Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Donald S. Whitney, Trusting God by Jerry Bridges, Overcoming Fear, Worry, and Anxiety by Elyse Fitzpatrick, Prayer by Timothy Keller

Comments are closed.

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: