Who likes to wait?
Not this girl!
It seems like I have spent my entire life simply waiting for something … or for someone … or for God to move on my behalf!
How many ordinary days have dragged along when I had my heart and mind set on the possibilities of tomorrow?
Tapping my toe.
Checking my watch.
Playing games on my phone.
Who has time to wait?!
Waiting in the doctor’s office.
Waiting in the fast food line.
Waiting for my kids to call me.
Waiting for payday.
Waiting for answers to prayer.
Waiting for my destiny to unfold.
Waiting for Christmas.
Waiting for Summer.
Waiting to see my grandkids again.
The truth of the matter is this … we all have to wait for something!
It is my personal choice whether I will wait well or wait poorly … because on any given day of my life, I will be required to wait.
I must admit ~ I am probably a bit like Thomas Edison.
Mr. Edison, after he failed more times than he succeeded, is famous for having said, “I have not failed. I have just discovered 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
So … let me say … in my best Thomas Edison imitation,
“I am not impatient. I have just discovered 10,000 ways how NOT to wait!”
And in having discovered at least 10,000 ways how NOT to wait … I have also discovered healthy ways in which to wait.
But wait a minute … I am getting ahead of myself here.
You are going to have to wait for the good stuff while I point out the troublesome behavior of someone (that would be me!) who hates to wait and who has exhibited the raw behavior of impatience time after time after time.
First of all, refuse to worry while you wait.
Worrying is a waste of time, energy and emotions. Worrying does not solve anything for anyone. All worry does is sap vital energy that could actually be given to hopeful expectation. Worry is infamous for destroying a vast number of “todays”.
I have had to convince myself time after time after time that the definition of prayer is not “worrying on my knees”.
Don’t do it. Don’t worry while you wait.
Don’t be negative while you wait.
Don’t conjure up every worst case scenario that could possibly happen in a moment of frustration.
Don’t gossip and criticize others.
While you are waiting, throw away negativity like yesterday’s garbage.
Don’t covet someone else’s blessings while you are waiting for your own … that will get you nowhere!
Don’t do it. Don’t be negative while you wait.
Don’t waste your life while you wait.
If you are waiting for a spouse, don’t waste every Friday night with a box of tissues while watching a Chick Flick and eating chocolate ice cream.
If you are waiting for babies to arrive, don’t waste your days poring over baby name books or being jealous of your friends.
Don’t do it. Don’t waste another minute of your life in frustrating and childish behavior while you wait.
Don’t become bitter while you wait.
Don’t mistakenly suppose that nothing will ever change for you.
Bitterness always turns into selfish anger. Always.
Anger will change a fruitful life into a futile life before you are able to tap your fingers or painstakingly yawn one more time.
Don’t do it. Don’t allow bitterness to become your middle name when you find yourself in the wait.
And finally, don’t whine and complain while you wait.
Don’t allow impatience to come out of your mouth.
No one wants your verbal vomit to show up in their otherwise delightful life and truly, no one is interested in your impatient germs.
Quit coughing up your demanding agenda on your irritable schedule.
Don’t do it. Refuse to allow the frustration of delay and postponement to come out of your mouth.
Trust me. I have discovered 10,000 ways how NOT to wait … remember?!
So what should you do while you wait?
Now this, my friend, is the valuable stuff for which you have been waiting!
You might consider investing yourself in some productive and healthy activities while you are waiting for your prayers to be answered and for God to move on your behalf.
Volunteer at a homeless shelter. Babysit for free for a young family. Take an elderly couple out to lunch and ask them what they have learned about marriage. Go on Missions trips. Invite people into your home for dinner and a game night.
You can do it! You can serve others while you are waiting for your circumstances to change!
While you are waiting for your prayers to be answered, pray for someone else!
The world does not revolve around you and your specific purpose or lack thereof.
Make a list of others who need your prayers and then commit to praying for them every day.
And while you’re at it, let those people know that you are praying for them. Write notes of encouragement and send Scriptures to them.
You can do it! You can pray for others while you are waiting for your prayers to be answered!
Talk the language of hope!
Every time you are tempted to whine or complain, stop yourself immediately and change your language to that of hope!
Hope should be the native tongue of someone who is waiting.
Learn to speak it just like you would learn to speak a new language before visiting a foreign country.
The only language that should be spoken in the waiting room of life is the language of hope.
You can do it! You can talk the language of hope because it is just more fun to believe!
And finally, worship your way through the wait!
Sing yourself to sleep at night and whistle while you work.
Hum while you pray and keep a symphony of genuine joy stirring while you are waiting for God to complete His work on your behalf.
The song of your heart should be at its loudest when you find yourself in the waiting room.
A seemingly endless wait should never silence the song of your life but should turn it up to resounding and echoing proportions.
The most powerful song is always heard right before the dawn of a new day!
“Wait for the Lord! Be strong and let your heart take courage! Yes, wait for the Lord!”
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on Carol McLeod Ministries