Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Refresher Course in Waiting

“I learned that faith isn’t tested by how often God answers prayers with a yes but by my willingness to continue serving Him and thanking Him even when I don’t have a clue as to what He is doing.” Gary House Seeking the Face of God: The Path to a More Intimate Relationship with Him

Several times in the Bible it tells us that faith without works is dead. We need to realize that faith isn’t our ability to rack up points with God so we get more “yes” answers to our prayers than “no.” Faith is more seen, felt, and grown in the waiting period for answers to arrive.

Faith is our willingness to accept what the answer will be when it does finally get there. Years ago when I had placed a prayer before God, I wasn’t ready for His answer because I had God’s mind made up already. I just knew for sure that my logic matched His logic and the answer couldn’t be anything else but a “Yes” in my favor. Instead of waiting in faith, I was waiting for Him to give me my confirmation number to something I already knew was a sure deal. Wrong again Karen!

Taking away my cap and gown my Heavenly Father enrolled me in a refresher course in learning what true faith was all about and what it entailed. I wasn’t a graduate student yet of this important lesson because I had more to learn. As I sat there in the classroom I began to look around and noticed I wasn’t alone. Evidently this was one course that takes time to learn, develop, and master.

The first thing we need to learn is to be patient and put away the “Plan B” we think we need to fall back on and stuff our stopwatch back in our pocket as we look for timely replies. The true measure of our faith is found in how we wait on the Lord not in how we expect Him to wait on us.

Once when I was a switchboard operator at a medical clinic I got a phone call from a patient. She had been checked in at the walk-in clinic and was waiting for her turn to be called. Impatiently she watched while others with more severe problems than hers were being called in ahead of her. Finally she had enough of this waiting and went to the pay-phone located outside the main door and called the clinic. Naturally being the switchboard operator I was the one that answered the call and heard her complaint. After chatting with her a few minutes I finally convinced her she needed to go back into the waiting room before more people got in ahead of her that eventually she would be seen and she was.

Her impatience probably cost her a quicker time slot to be seen as she wasted her time complaining from the nearby phone booth. What exactly is our impatience costing us as we fail to wait on the Lord properly? This waiting period tells a lot and teaches a lot if we spend it as we should in thanksgiving and praise as we continue to serve the Lord even when we don’t understand what is happening. Sometimes a “no” answer is better than a “yes” and sometimes waiting longer turns out to be more beneficial in the long run when done properly.

How are you doing in the waiting room of life? In the refresher course of faith?

The Great Physician is still on duty and it’s up to us to show faith in Him by trusting in His judgment as we put away our score card of how many yes or no’s we are getting and learn to trust instead. No matter how long it takes.

© 2009 Karen J. Gillett @ Pencil Marks and Recipes Publishing


Debbie said...

Beautifully written Karen. I love the example you used of the impatient patient. As a nurse, I too came across many of them. :)

I find the hard part is waiting. But as I look back, those seem to be the times when God was teaching me and developing my character. I know He is trustworthy. And who am I to question His perfect timing and His perfect ways?

You stimulate our thinking Karen.
Thanks for this.

Laurie Ann said...

Great post! I love the idea of having a refresher course in faith. Learning to wait patiently is something I did really well with for a while and then I bottomed out. Now I'm doing ok but I know I'm not at God's best for me yet. Thanks for sharing your take on this quote. It was great!

Susan said...


This was great!!!!!!!!!! Loved the example you used with that patient!!

I'll remember this.

Have a blessed day♥

MiPa said...

This post speaks volumes to me. Waiting, no plan "b", patience---all things that are part of this learning curve. Bless you for sharing your heart.

Denise said...

Very well said dear.

Carolyn said...

Karen~A wonderful post. I love the way you remind us "The true measure of our faith is found in how we wait on the Lord"
I love your creative writing. Thanks for sharing

Kathryn @ Expectant Hearts said...

I love your analogy! Waiting is so hard.. Thank you for sharing!

Patricia said...

Waiting is so difficult especially for someone like me who likes to control her world as much as possible. Thank you for the example of the patient. Waiting in medical offices is one of my great pet peeves. I will remember this example and try to be more patient in the future.