"Beloved, our great and pressing need today is to give ourselves to waiting upon God, because waiting time is never wasted time." - Ian Hamilton
I came across this quote in the new Bible study I started through Shereadstruth.com (check it out, pretty cool daily bible study). The current study is on Nehemiah; specifically in regards to this quote, Nehemiah 1:11-2:8. In this part of the book, Nehemiah has just discovered that his hometown Jerusalem has been destroyed- the wall has been broken down and the city gates have been burned by fire. He is very far away from home which makes it difficult to do anything and yet he feels it so heavy on his heart that it brings him to tears and to his knees. The reason that this quote is brought into the study is because Nehemiah prayed, waiting on the Lord for the right opportunity to ask the king, whom he worked for as cupbearer for the opportunity to go and rebuild the wall in Jerusalem.
When I think about waiting, I think that's pretty much how I view it- as wasted time I could've spent doing something else. I mean really, seeing the act of waiting as a positive and even important time is so far from our culture's understanding of that term, is it not? Sitting in the waiting room at the doctor's office, and just waaaiiting to be called in? Ick- no thanks (that could partly be my bent against going to the doctor, but still). Waiting to hear back about an interview. Waiting for a page to load on the computer. Waiting for results after a big test. Waiting to be served at a restaurant, or for a table to open up. Waiting for a friend who is running late. Most often, waiting is the pits! So it has a pretty negative connotation, don't you think?
Being in this place as a housewife, I feel like waiting is kind of the story of my life. If you ask me why I haven't pursued employment or taken a step towards figuring out what's next, its because I honestly feel like I am waiting on the Lord to lead me to what's next. And who knows, maybe being housewife right now is exactly what the Lord wants me to wait for- I don't know. But reading the quote, "waiting time is never wasted time" got my brain thinking- why is it that waiting is always viewed negatively, and why is it that whenever you have to wait, so often it really does feel like wasted time? It's like we are so focused on getting to the next thing, the next point on our agenda, the next goal, that we completely miss the waiting time in between that is most likely just as beautiful if not more than the next step in front of us.
It's such a twisted view from what I think God intends it to be, and one that I'd really like to work on in my own life. I don't to view any of my time as wasted! I don't want to look back on this period of time in my life and say, geez Mindy, if only you appreciated the waiting time for the blessing and growing time that it was, instead of being so concerned about what's happening next.
I would like to be intentional about changing my attitude about waiting. I'm going to try to be less concerned about the time spent waiting, or getting to the next thing on my agenda, and try to find the beauty in each moment (even in the doctor's office waiting room- ick). To view waiting time as a blessing, as a brief break from the craziness that is so often our lives. To really seek God and praise Him for this time in my life. And to allow Him to lead me in HIS timing not mine because I know that He is worth waiting upon.
Thinking about this topic, a Bethany Dillon song came to my mind- in fact it's called To Those Who Wait and the chorus says, "Lord, today You know what I need to do. But You can do more in my waiting than in my doing I could do. So I won't run anymore, I'm waiting on you."
I love this encouragement. He really can do way more in my waiting than I could do in my doing. I don't ever want to get one step ahead of the Lord and what He has planned for me, I want to make sure He is right beside me leading me in the way I should go... and sometimes, most times, that requires waiting. Waiting time is never wasted IF we use it as an opportunity to trust the Lord to lead us in His perfect timing.
Instead of being negative, let's go soak up times of waiting! Let's pause, pray, view them as a blessing, and enjoy each moment for what it's worth.