Posted by: JennyRain | July 7, 2010

Sitting in the Wait: Reflections from a Waiting Room

I suck at waiting.

Moving forward, into the new, the shiny, the unexplored, the unconquered is much preferable to sitting still in the waiting place.

If I am sitting still, I like to be doing something.

Have you ever noticed that waiting rooms at doctors’ offices are filled with things to do?

Magazine-filled tables for grown-ups, colorful toy-rooms for little-ones, tween-sized book shelves for the in-between-agers?

Last week when I stopped to get my oil changed, a crowd of customers pressed into a tiny waiting room to get a glimpse of Germany and Argentina on a fifteen inch television. Impatience gave way to settled engagement as bystanders forgot time and entered into the energy of the game…. until a commercial where submerged iPhones and Crack-berries were unearthed from pockets, purses, and suit-jackets and a furious thumb-clicking commenced.

We are losing the ability to wait in silence.

I am in life’s waiting room right now.

The magazines have been ripped, clipped, and over-read because I’ve been there for so long. Television has drummed my brain one-too-many chair-throwing Jerry Springer episodes, and the tweeny-time books journey along dreams that are too youthful for a thirty-nine year old.

So I sit, melting along the ridge of my chair until I am held by the back of my head and the tips of my shoeless toes smashed into the coffee table in front of me. Twiddling-thumbs bored I stare at the crisp receptionist in front of me who plucks at her telephone keyboard and smiles at the caller on the other end.

The racing cars outside the window pull my attention. I wonder where they are going.

I stare at my brown boots and trace the hairline scrape on the right toe until it fades into the broken wooden heel.

Still, I wait.

When reading Exodus 19 this week I ran across the following scripture:

Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Exodus 19:17

I had read it several times, but had never seen the fact that God called the Israelites out, but then drew boundaries around the mountain and required them to stand there and WAIT.

They had been consecrated and called out but then God required them to wait on Him in a place where they could probably see activity all around them, but they could not do anything!

Waiting on God to meet with them…
Waiting on God to give them their next commandment…
Waiting on God to tell them where to go next…
Waiting on God to complete the deliverance and move them into the promised land…

Moses brought the people out

…To meet God

…and they stood

Maybe I should get up from my chair and at least start standing?

Waiting in prayer is a disciplined refusal to act before God acts. It reminds us that we are not in charge.*

My soul, wait silently for God… Ps 62.5


*The Word for Today Devotional.




  1. absolutely beautiful! I’m an impatient one as well… I feel like there is ALWAYS something we are waiting on… for someone to love us, to be married, for divorce to be final… for custody battles to end… for… waiting…

    I get it.

  2. So good. 🙂 Thankyou for this 🙂

    I love it when reading the scriptures you stumble upon one word that makes all the difference in the passage and your life.

    • I know! I love that too… it makes God so real…

  3. I’m right there in that waiting room with you…and I’m so ready to leave! Interestingly enough I realized yesterday how little I pray about it. I am waiting in God to show us the next step, but I’m not daily seeking His face about it. Instead I’m expecting Him to interrupt my “previously scheduled programming with an important news bulletin.” Thanks for reminding me that it takes active attendance on my part to hear Him clearly. Praying for you as your waiting as well.

    • me too… I realized yesterday I sometimes fear the praying places because often I don’t hear God there… then what? I’m waiting and I’m bummed out. ugh.

  4. Waiting and waiting silently seem like two separate hard things. It’s hard to sit or stand with so much noise around. So many options to not wait. They should call it busy or distracting rooms. Waiting goes with refining for me. This waiting space is where my heart begins to take form.

  5. Jenny,

    God is so amazing! I just wrote a post on my blog about waiting. I asked a fellow blogger ti send me a poem to guest post….she had just wrote one on waiting… now you too!!!

    Think God is trying to tell me something?

    You have an amazing ministry here.:…thank you for having a servant.heart.

    God bless,


  6. This is so true. So much of waiting is surrendering.

  7. Oh, man. I just sent you an email and then read this.

    We are so on the same wavelength.

    • love this… it helps knowing others are there… the power of community 🙂

  8. “Waiting in prayer is a disciplined refusal to act before God acts.”

    What beautiful words and a beautiful reminder that waiting on Him is the best thing we can do. Thank you for sharing these words today. They have blessed a heart that is also in the waiting room. Luv you girl.

    • we can wait together, I’ll bring the people magazine if you bring the vogue 🙂 hugs!

  9. great job, again dear. I hate waiting. I feel like I’m doing the same thing. Part of me says, okay I’m 2/3 of the way through with my degree, so I’m ready – put me into full time ministry. I keep straining against my boundaries. But I’m learning to just wait on God and be obedient on what he’s wanting me to do right now. On May 25th, my boss’s husband died suddenly after a minor surgery. I’ve been able to support her and keep our department together while she deals with this loss. They’d been married since she was 17 years old – 32 years. So now I know why I’m still here and why God hasn’t moved me into full time ministry. I still have things to learn, and I believe I can learn them right where I’m at. It amazes me that the God who created the sun and the stars and the earth, still cares about every little hurt and scar that I hold inside me and wants to tenderly and delicately fix each little area. So I wait, also, and am just grateful that he uses me where he does. Love you girl. Anxious to see you this weekend.

    • can’t wait to see you friend!!!! 🙂 love your perspective too 🙂

  10. So I of course had to check out your blog when you commented on my comment over at Andrew Marin’s blog. This is so great. I feel so much like this, that I am just in this place of waiting and wondering. I think of Elijah sitting and waiting for God to show up on so many occasions. He waited for fire to come from heaven. He waited for God to bring the rain back. He waited for the power to pass by so that he could speak with his God. Then there was Joseph. He spent so much time waiting for God to come through. I was wondering the other day what it meant when it says, “God was with him,” what that really meant. I mean he thinks he is gettting out of jail when he interprets the cup bearer’s dream. Instead it is a few years more- in jail- waiting. I think that when God is bringing us to something new he stirs up our heart so that we will learn to be patient with him and on him. We stop and listen and take it all in. But the waiting is so worth it. When God shows up in all his glory. When the fire comes down from heaven and blows the prophets of Baal out. When the fire eats the alter and the trench in the ground. When not only do you get out of jail but you get to be second in command of all of Egypt. When you save an entire world from famine. God shows up in such a phenominal way the waiting is just worth it. It is so hard to wait in any way. But- God shows up. However, as CS Lewis says the greatest way that Satan tries to get to us is to get us to give up just before God comes through. See also- the Golden Calf while Moses was on the mountain talking to God and they were supposed to be waiting. We learn so much in the waiting. But, It doesn’t make it easy.

    I am waiting too..

    • Dang girl! Please come back anytime… everytime you comment, it ministers to me 🙂 love that 🙂

      “I think that when God is bringing us to something new he stirs up our heart so that we will learn to be patient with him and on him.”

      Oh my gosh – so had not thought about that… but it is so true – God prepares our hearts before he moves our feet… great point.

      And I JUST read about Elijah and Elisha this morn – check out my friend Alece’s blog on them 🙂

  11. […] “Sitting in the Wait:  Reflections from a Waiting Room” by Jenny Rain… I knew exactly what she was referring to… but Wait!  I am no longer there… […]

  12. Heather linked you and I really enjoyed this post. Waiting is hard and I love the way you point it out in the Bible so clearly. Truly God answers our requests with YES, NO, and WAIT.

    Ps 62.5- Very deep and touching scripture.

    Thank you for sharing this.

    • thank you so much for coming by!! so true… yes, no and wait.

  13. “Waiting in prayer is a disciplined refusal to act before God acts. It reminds us that we are not in charge.”

    That seems to be all I ever do.

    Great post, Jenny.

  14. You know I’ve been waiting. Sometimes in this waiting I feel like I’m sitting on a runway. I know I’m going somewhere, I know there is a destination, but I’ve been stuck in a holding pattern for 3 1/2 years.

    In some ways I’ve learned to have patience in the waiting. Others I’m still impatient, tapping my foot going “Okay God, whenever you’re ready for takeoff.”

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