March 18, 2014


Have you ever booked an airline flight, reported a power outage, or reserved a hotel room via telephone? Maybe you’ve purchased a train ticket or reserved a bus ride, complained about your Internet service, obtained your concert ticket, or sought help to fix a computer problem over the phone.

There’s no doubt that doing business via telephone can take loads of precious time—time that we can ill-afford to spend. I readily admit that I’m most frustrated when I call my phone company. It doesn’t matter if I have an issue with my phone bill or seek technical assistance in adjusting to cable TV—dealing with the phone company can truly be a hassle.

Invariably before you can speak to someone that can help you, you will be placed on hold. I wish I could count the hours I’ve spent on hold, listening to music or those abrasive commercials. Some institutions, such as banks and mortgage companies, insist that you input detailed information such as account numbers, phone numbers, date of birth, zip code, the last four digits of your Social Security number; then you’re placed on hold.31 1 8 4

I once heard about a person who called a company and was put on hold. During the time he was listening to the on-hold music he was so enthralled by the music that when the customer service representative took his call he asked to be placed back on hold so he could continue listening to the music.

There’s no doubt that we’ve all gone through that unwanted experience of being on hold. It’s part of our everyday lives. Our lives are on hold even when we’re not on the telephone. Have you ever waited for a bus or subway train? Haven’t you had to wait in line to check out even when shopping for clothes or groceries?

There are countless others who spend time on hold, not on the telephone or waiting in a line; they are waiting for the Social Security check, welfare check, food stamps, or a mortgage approval.

Though all too common, these situations can be extremely inconvenient and irritating. But as annoying as they are, scenarios such as these are often resolved in short order.

Unfortunately for many, it seems as though their lives are on hold. Their very existence feels like a waiting game. There’s the student waiting for an acceptance letter from college and word about financial aid. The college graduate who’s seeking full-time employment must wait patiently for a job offer. The sick and injured must wait for healing and rehab, or long for the means that would help them resume normal life activities.

In today’s fast-paced society we naturally expect things to happen quickly. We want services rendered, products delivered, and decisions made now. With the push of a button or the click of a mouse, we want to see instantaneous results.

However, in this environment God calls us to wait on Him. Waiting on the Lord is an essential part of the Christian’s marching orders. As we wait on the Lord He renews and strengthens our relationship with Him. Waiting on God develops patience and trust in the Savior. God promises a special blessing for those who wait on Him.

Unlike being on hold on the telephone, waiting on God is not a passive activity; it’s a proactive act. As we wait we should seek God’s will through prayer, Bible study, and listening for the “still small voice” of His Spirit.

As we wait on God, He orders our steps, directs us through the paths of life, and ultimately saves us.

“To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation” (Heb. 9:28, NKJV).*

* Texts credited to NKJV are from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.