I hate waiting.
This would be my conversation with that sweet spirit I should be listening to during those waiting times:
Sweet Spirit: “What are you thinking about?”
Me, tapping my foot: “Why is he so late? Doesn’t he realize my time is important too?”
Sweet Spirit: “Maybe there’s a problem. Maybe you should pray for him.”
Maybe, God is using this waiting time to teach me something. Maybe it’s during the waiting times that we can mount up with wings like eagles and soar.
But how can I fly freely when I’m griping and complaining, and stewing over my precious time?
In Acts 16, Paul and Silas have been arrested and thrown in jail. They’re waiting. Waiting for morning, waiting to find out their fate. Are they whining and complaining? Crying and mad? Throwing a pity party?
None of the above.
Verse 25-26: “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose.” NIV (bold & italics are mine)
They were praying and praising God.
VERY IMPORTANT POINT — “and the other prisoners were listening to them.”
Sometimes we’re throwing a big fit and others are watching…and listening. But if you react with grace, follow the whispers of the Sweet Spirit in your heart…you might not witness the drama Paul and Silas and the prisoners did, but you may make a very positive impression on those around you–the other folks in the “waiting room.”
When you’ve shown grace and patience in the face of difficulty, your coworkers may trust you with their troubles. Your children will learn to react in kind. Your situation may calm and change.
Paul and Silas had to have been weary from their very troubled day. But through prayer and praising God, they mounted up with wings as eagles. Paul’s presence of mind saved lives and paved the way for many to receive faith that night. This would not have happened, had he harbored angry thoughts and allowed himself to brood on their bad situation.
One more thing: Though the prison doors swung open, and the chains fell off, no one moved. No prisoners fled the scene. This saved not only the prisoners’ lives, but the lives of the guards.
And opened the door wide for those who saw the whole thing to enter into the Kingdom of God.
As a result, there was great rejoicing, instead of mourning and loss.
Are you weary from waiting? Reassure yourself through prayer and praise. Then try quieting your thoughts, to hear the voice of that Sweet Spirit.
Have you had a “waiting room” experience that resulted in renewed faith and energy?
Bonus verse: We pray that you’ll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul—not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us. Colossians 1: 11-12 MSG