The young couple in the corner? Waiting to get pregnant. The fellow with the briefcase? He has resumes all over the country, waiting on work. The elderly woman with the cane? A widow. Been waiting a year for one tearless day. Waiting. Waiting on God to give, help, heal. Waiting on God to come. We indwell the land betwixt prayer offered and prayer answered. The land of waiting.
Are you in God's waiting room? If so, here is what you need to know: while you wait, God works.
"My Father is always at his work," Jesus said (John 5:17NIV). God never twiddles his thumbs. He never stops. He takes no vacations. He rested on the seventh day of creation but got back to work on the eighth and hasn't stopped since. Just because you are idle, don't assume God is. "Be still, and know that I am God" reads the sign on God's waiting room wall. You can be glad because God is good. You can be still because he is active. You can rest because he is busy.
Remember God's word through Moses to the Israelites? "Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD ... The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace" (Ex. 14:13–14). The Israelites saw the Red Sea ahead of them and heard the Egyptian soldiers thundering after them. Death on both sides. Stand still? Are you kidding? But what the former slaves couldn't see was the hand of God at the bottom of the water, creating a path, and his breath from heaven, separating the waters. God was working for them.
God worked for Mary, the mother of Jesus. The angel told her that she would become pregnant. The announcement stirred a torrent of questions in her heart. How would she become pregnant? What would people think? What would Joseph say? Yet God was working for her. He sent a message to Joseph, her fiance. God prompted Caesar to declare a census. God led the family to Bethlehem. "God is always at work for the good of everyone who loves him" (Rom. 8:28 CEV).
To wait, biblically speaking, is not to assume the worst, worry, fret, make demands, or take control. Nor is waiting inactivity. Waiting is a sustained effort to stay focused on God through prayer and belief. To wait is to "rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; ... not fret" (Ps. 37:7).