Friday, August 14, 2009

In The Waiting Room

As I write this I’m setting in the waiting room at my doctor’s office. I hate to wait! When we go to a doctor’s office they have a waiting room. That should be our first indicator that we are here not to see the doctor but to wait. And wait we do. Why? Because we believe there is something of value worth waiting for.

Sometimes when we want something or trying to determine the outcome of something we say, “Well, we’ll just have to wait and see.” There again we must wait. I hate waiting!

Life is full of waiting. We can’t wait to grow up. We can’t wait to get married. We can’t wait to go to college. We can’t wait to express to that special someone how much we love him/her. We can’t wait to get that big break that’s going to make us wealthy or famous. We can’t wait to retire. Yet, what we do is wait….wait…wait…and wait some more.

There are no fewer than eleven times that the psalmist instructs us to “wait on the Lord.” In the New Testament our waiting seems to be in relation to the return of Christ:

1 Cor 4:5
Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God.
Phil 3:20
For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ;
James 5:7
Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains.
Jude 21
keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.

One of the things Jesus told His disciples while they waited in the Garden was to “Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Watch for what? Pray for what? Like the disciples sometimes I sleep while I’m waiting. Other times I like to watch people while I’m waiting. People watching is a great non-exertion sport. Sometimes I watch TV while I’m waiting. Somehow I don’t think that is exactly what Jesus had in mind when He said “watch and pray.” Most of the time while I’m waiting I just grow increasingly impatient and agitated because of what I might be doing if I weren’t waiting.

Maybe one of the things Jesus meant is to watch and pray for an opportunity to benefit and bless others. Sometimes I think He means for me to watch my attitude and pray that I surrender all to Him in every situation. Other times it may be that He means for me to watch and pray as I look toward the future. Maybe I’m to wacth and pray for knowledge and wisdom to deal with whatever it is I’m waiting for.

To watch and pray while we wait means to stay alert and conscious of the presence and communication of God. We are to stay aware of the ever increasing imminent return of our Lord. “Be like men who are waiting for their master when he returns from the wedding feast, so that they may immediately open the door to him when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those slaves whom the master will find on the alert when he comes; truly I say to you, that he will gird himself to serve, and have them recline at the table, and will come up and wait on them.” (Lk. 12:36-37)

In an awareness of His sovereignty we are to stay alert of His return. We are to watch and pray while we wait for our King to return. I don’t think that means don’t sleep, don’t watch tv, don’t read magazines, don’t people watch, etc. But I do think it means always have in mind that He is coming again and it could be now.

After Jesus returns there will be no more waiting. The waiting room will no longer exist. Some people are waiting for something before they turn to Jesus. They’re waiting until they get through sowing their wild oats. Maybe they’re waiting on a spouse to change before they surrender all to the Lord. Sometimes waiting is necessary and other times it is just foolish and stubborn. Waiting can sometimes be self-inflected by ignoring what is at hand.

Yet, the thing about waiting is that it can be over at any second. When your name is called the waiting time is finished. The waiting time is decision time. All of us will someday hear our name called and we will go the way of death. Not a single one of us will escape it. Waiting time is preparation time. Accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior is the only thing that will prepare you to face life after death. If you haven’t done that before your name is called it’s too late. Oh, wait, they just called my name. No more waiting.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful Chuck. I pray our wait for His return isn't long. One day we will have mansions next door to each other and can catch up after all these years. I pray, too, that you and Estela are blessed beyond measure. Hug her for me, K?
Pam Lee Gary

Chuck Andrews said...

Thanks Pam for stopping by. Won't it be great when we have eternity to visit? Blessing to you and yours.

He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
(Re 22:20)