Have you ever been in the unfortunate situation of trying to have a serious conversation with someone who is engrossed in the TV? It is SO frustrating! Why is it so frustrating? Because you NEED that person’s feedback. You need their response and reaction to what you are saying. Maybe you need their advice and encouragement, maybe they have had experiences that can help you with what you are going through, or maybe you just need to be reminded that someone is listening and cares.
Sometimes, I am afraid we do this with God. We pray and we pray, asking for Him to help us with a situation in our lives, but then we don’t take the time to focus on what He has to say to us about it. Last week we talked about how much prayer can help us when we are struggling with things in life, how it can help us make it through those difficult times of waiting we go through. The other side of this is that we also have to make time to listen to what God has to say to us. A marriage cannot work with one-way communication, and neither can our Christianity!
God’s Word is a priceless treasure in our lives, especially when we are in God’s waiting room, and it is where we need to turn for comfort and reassurance when we need it the most.
One way that God’s Word can be a comfort to us is through the countless examples of others who have been in God’s waiting room, struggling for answers or struggling to understand what was going on in their lives. For instance, there are very few things that we could go through that Job has not.
- Lost ALL of his income – Job 1:13-18
- Lost ALL of his children – Job 1:18-19
- Lost his home – Job 1:18-19
- Lost his health – Job 2:7-8
- Lost the support of his wife – Job 2:9
I can’t imagine how he must have felt, or what he must have been going through. Yet in the midst of it all he stayed faithful to the Lord! (Job 1:20-22). When I am in God’s waiting room, when I am struggling with doubt and fear, when I don’t know which way to go, Job is such a comfort to me! He struggled with the same things I struggle with, he questioned God, he got angry, yet Job 42 tells of a man who was victorious over the pain and struggles of this life. A man who remained faithful through everything and was rewarded not only eternally, but in physical life as well for his faithfulness.
Oh to be like Job! But how could I have that example if I did not turn to God’s Word? I must spend my own personal time in a study of Scripture to feel the comfort and example that God left for me through His servant Job.
There are so many tremendous examples of those who suffered greatly in this life, in various ways and for various reasons. There are the struggles of David, the times he felt alone and the times that people were literally trying to kill him. There are the struggles of the prophet Elijah who felt he was the only faithful one in the world. There are all of the different things that the apostle Paul went through during his ministry, not to mention everyone named in Hebrews 11 and what they went through! Sisters, the stories of these people, their legacies, have been left for us! These are the reminders God has given us to turn to in our times of waiting, when we don’t know where else to go.
Another tremendous gift that God’s Word gives us to get us through our time in His waiting room is encouragement! Romans 15:4 reads, “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” God knew that we were going to struggle in these times of waiting. Let’s be honest: patience is NOT a virtue that comes easy to most of us, and that’s one reason why He gave us the Scriptures! He wants to be a constant source of hope and encouragement for us, but He cannot do that if we don’t take His Word into our hearts.
Have you ever really stopped and thought about the fact that one reason Christ endured the cross was to give us a hope through our struggles? According to Hebrews 12:3, “Consider Him who endured from sinners such hostility against Himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.” Wow!
This gives me such an amazing mental picture. When my daughter Ariana was in Pre-K, I was so excited for Field Day. Those little four-year-olds looked SO cute running around on the big football field, but it was also glaringly obvious that the field was TOO big for them. And that was where the neat part came in. Ana was a soccer player, and her coach just happened to be a high school junior, and a linebacker and the star of the football team. This guy was HUGE! The next thing I knew, I looked down and this massive high school football player (who was already being actively recruited by OU, OSU, Texas A&M, & several other major universities) was running right beside my little girl! She had the hugest smile on her face, and she was running her little heart out with “Coach Marcus” there beside her, cheering her on the entire time.
Marcus had been there and done that. He knew what hard work it was for her little legs to run as hard as she could for so long, & he also knew the benefits that were waiting for her if she persevered. Jesus is doing the same thing for us! He has been through everything we could possibly imagine and more, and he KNOWS the glories that are waiting for us across the finish line. He also knows how hard it is for our little finite minds to persevere through everything this world has to throw at us, so He has given us Scripture, His own Word, to be right there with us, constantly whispering in our ear that we can do it!
A final way that God’s Word helps us in our times of waiting, is by reminding us that He is there for us! You wait, and you wait, and sometimes you can’t help but wonder if God is really listening. Does He really care? YES! And we know that because His Word tells us so. 1 Peter 5:7, “…casting all your anxieties on him, because HE CARES FOR YOU.” God cares for ME! He cares for YOU! The Creator of the entire universe cares when I am hurt by a relationship that’s not working out. He cares when I am hurt because so far I have not gotten the promotion I’ve been praying for. And he has SOMETHING planned for me! Staying in His Word will help me remember that He cares until my wait is over.
God loves us so much. He has given us so much already. We need to go to His Word during our times of waiting so that we can REMEMBER that. We need to remind ourselves of the hundreds of times he was with people while they were waiting in Scriptures, and we need to look back on our own lives and see all the evidence of prayers that God has already answered. Let us use these times of waiting, these times of trial, to strengthen our faith through strengthening our knowledge of God’s Word.