Thursday, April 25, 2013
Today’s Topic: Sitting in the Waiting Room
Today’s Text: Genesis 39:1 (ESV) Now Joseph had been brought down to Egypt, and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the guard, an Egyptian, had bought him from the Ishmaelites who had brought him down there. Genesis 37:9 (ESV) 9 Then he dreamed another dream and told it to his brothers and said, “Behold, I have dreamed another dream. Behold, the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me.”
How many minutes of our lives are spent sitting and waiting? Maybe it would be better tallied in hours. We wait in doctor’s offices, DMV (department of motor vehicles) lines, grocery store check-out lines, Texas Roadhouse, and the worst of all, stoplights. Hours of life spent waiting. We do it because we know what’s coming. We are willing to wait for what has been promised – medical help, driving privileges, nourishment, and green lights.
The issue is not that we wait, but rather how we wait. What we do while we are waiting says a lot about who we are.
The sign on the wall of the doctor’s waiting room says “If you have been waiting more than twenty minutes for your appointment, please tell the receptionist.” After ten minutes I am already watching the clock and at nineteen minutes I’m starting to make my move.
At the DMV we watch the numbers flash on the wall, trying to predict who will be next, and hoping that someone got discouraged and left so our number comes up faster. We call ahead for seating at the restaurant so when we arrive we can jump ahead of those who have been waiting longer. And at stoplights, we watch the light controlling the opposing traffic so we can predict when ours will turn green and we can get an immediate jump on everyone else.
We have trouble waiting, and the trouble is caused by our need for immediacy. We want immediate gratification, immediate fulfillment, and immediate solutions. We think we have the right to put our needs ahead of everyone else’s. We determine the appropriate amount of wait time and when it is reached, we spring into action to bring about a quicker resolution. After all, a promise is not a promise unless we can have it fulfilled now, right?
What we do while we wait on God is a significant statement of our faith. Weak faith takes action. Strong faith gets stronger. Weak faith disrupts the potential for the greatest blessing. Strong faith receives the full reward God intended. Weak faith enjoys a moment of personal satisfaction in knowing what it accomplished. Strong faith enjoys an eternity of joy seeing what God has accomplished. Weak faith takes control of the outcome and suffers the consequences. Strong faith leaves the outcome to the Lord and experiences peace that passes all understanding.
In all of the tragedies of Joseph’s life that were thrust upon him by weak-faithed control freaks, never once did he stop waiting for God to fulfill His promise to him. He had enough faith to never stop believing the God-given dream. He never tried to change the dream or hurry the dream, and he most certainly never tried to fulfill the dream in his own way. He waited, and as he waited through false accusations and false imprisonments, and false friendships, he grew stronger until the day God chose to fulfill the dream.
Those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
Many of us are sitting in waiting rooms right now. We are waiting on construction jobs, job interviews, relationships, financial issues, adoptions, and a myriad of other situations. Life is lived most often in a waiting room. But it is a waiting room of God’s design and choosing. So pick up the available reading material on the coffee table that’s been provided by the eternal Doctor (the Bible), and sit back and relax. No matter how long it takes, God always fulfills His promises.
Just ask Joseph.