But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD,
I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.
-- Micah 7:7
Americans are good at many things, but waiting isn't one of them. We love our fast food, microwave popcorn and automated teller machines. We specialize in multitasking. And some (at least the geeky ones) even judge their neighbors and co-workers by the features and speed of their smartphones.
There's also no time for waiting in our non-stop, 24/7 society. But we do it anyway. In fact, efficiency experts report that we spend an estimated 45 to 62 minutes waiting each day. That covers common tasks like waiting in line at the bank, waiting at the restaurant for the server to take our order, and even waiting for our car to fill up at the gas pump. (All-in-all, that's about three years of waiting by the time we reach age 70!)
However, waiting isn't always a waste--particularly when it comes to God. It's actually an essential part of His plan for our lives: that process that enables us to become. This concept might be difficult to grasp because the human viewpoint of time differs greatly from the Creator's. While He sees the past, present and future, we see only what's happening minute by minute. That's why we want to know (now!) when we'll find another job, when we'll sell our house and when we'll find a spouse. When will we feel healthy again? And...just when will the economy finally turn around?
We don't have a clue. But God has known since the foundation of the world.
The Apostle Peter helps us put our waiting into perspective. "But do not forget this one thing, dear friends," he wrote. "To the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years is as one day."
As Christ-followers, we need to understand that what happens while we're waiting is often more important than what we're waiting for. Ask anyone who has spent grueling hours at the hospital contemplating the health and future of a loved one. Did their soul-searching experience bring a closer dependence on God? It should have. After all, it's when we're so humbled and powerless that we realize we can do nothing on our own and need God the most.
Perhaps our non-stop, 24/7 world actually revolves around waiting. So let's make the most of our time in God's Waiting Room--a place where we can look for ways and opportunities to say yes to Him with a sense of expectancy and hope. Whether we understand it or not, His timing is always perfect.
"Be still, and know that I am God," He assures us through Psalm 46:10. "I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."