What’s your least favorite thing to do? Going to the dentist? Visiting your in-laws? Public speaking? My least favorite thing is probably waiting. Ask our staff at. When I have an idea, I want to do it right away. I won’t stop until it’s ready!
There also virtual waiting rooms. When you’re in a virtual waiting room, you feel like your life is on hold. Your life is not going anywhere, maybe because you have young children, your job is going nowhere or you don’t even have a job, you’re in a bad marriage. Or maybe you’re just waiting for what’s next.
Apostle Paul’s kind of waiting rooms
Yesterday I spoke about how the Apostle Paul was stuck in waiting rooms for a big part of his life. His type of waiting room was a jail cell or even a house he was locked up in. He wanted to go to Rome for ministry, but he was kept in Israel for two years because of some false allegations that were raised against him.
How to be miserable while you wait?
Now what can you do to make the best out of the time you spend in a virtual waiting room? Well, let me first zoom in on how you can make your life miserable while you’re in a waiting room. Here are three things that will make you (and others) miserable while you wait:
- Worry. Definitely not a good thing to do. Paul said: “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done” (Phil.4:6 NLT). What will happen, will happen. Worry won’t change it. Prayer may!
- Stress. If something doesn’t happen when you feel it should happen, you start to push things, work harder and try to use your super powers to change your circumstances. Relax! Wait for others to pick up their responsibility! You’ll get much more done in much shorter time.
- Complaining.While you complain, you feel relieved. It makes you feel better for a few minutes, but it makes the situation worse in the end. Paul – who had plenty of reasons to complain – said: “Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you” (Phil. 2:14-15 NLT).
You know what? Your waiting room might actually be your destination. If you spend all your energy waiting for what’s next, you’ll miss what is here for you right now. Make the best out of your waiting room experience. And… while you’re waiting, be productive! You really are not waiting. You’re on a mission!
How can you be productive while you wait?
Now how can you be productive while you wait?
- Look up (to God). Take time to worship God for who He is. And learn to pray!
- Look in (you). Now is your chance to grow and to practice the things you feel may be part of what’s next for you.
- Look around (to others). Mentor somebody else. Serve others. The worst thing you can do while you’re waiting is become inwardly focused, feel sorry for yourself and throw a pity party.
What about you? What are you waiting on? Healing? Finances? Relationship? Opportunity? A job? What are you doing while you wait? Are you on mission? Are you connecting deeply with God? Are you growing as a person? Are you helping others? Make the best of your waiting room experience!
This blog post is based on a message I preached atInternational Church on July 17. Here is the full video of the sermon: