September 8, 2010
Out of the Waiting Room
Susan Meissner, She Reads Featured Author
"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!
Dear Lord, enable us this day to throw off self-doubts and fear so that we may obey You, serve You and live out our purpose for You. Fill us with Your Holy Spirit and empower us to do all that You have called and equipped us to do. Forgive us for being content with sitting in the waiting room when You've called us to come out. Ignite in us a passion to live our faith loudly. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
What to do in the W.A.I.T: Finding Contentment in God's Pauses and Plans (CD) by Wendy Pope
An Untroubled Heart: Finding Faith that is Stronger than My Fears by Micca Campbell
Trusting God Despite Fear, free devotion to encourage you
When you purchase resources through Proverbs 31 Ministries, you touch eternity because your purchase supports the many areas of hope-giving ministry we provide at no cost. We wish we could, but we simply can't compete with prices offered by huge online warehouses. Therefore, we are extremely grateful for each and every purchase you make with us. Thank you!
Stop waiting for a deeper prayer life and start prayer journaling. Visit the She Reads blog where we are giving away a prayer journal, plus the antique ring from the cover of the novel Lady in Waiting. Several copies of Susan Meissner's latest novel Lady in Waiting will be awarded as well.
Is there a decision pressing on you that you've been afraid to make? Pray for courage and wisdom from the Lord, and then share this need with a trusted friend who will help you take the next step of "getting out of your waiting room chair."
What keeps you from being strong and courageous? List those things. What would God have you do with thought patterns that originate out of fear and doubt?
2 Corinthians 9:8, "And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work." (NIV)
Ephesians 2:10, "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." (NIV)
© 2010 by Susan Meissner. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Wednesday, 08 September 2010.