God's Waiting Room :: Gospel Fellowship Association Missions

God's Waiting Room

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Have you ever felt you knew the Lord’s will for your life only to find yourself not able to do it? You feel confused or frustrated, and maybe even try to do things on your own, yet at every point you have the situation turn out to be an utter failure. Well, you are in good company, since these are the same feelings Abraham, Joseph, Moses, the children of Israel, David, and many others (including me) have often felt.

Abraham was promised a son and waited 25 years to receive the promised gift. Joseph was given a vision when he was young that he would one day be a great leader and that even his own brothers and parents would bow to him. Yet for about 17 years, he had to endure the pit, be sold into slavery, and suffer prison before this vision from God was accomplished.

David, though anointed King of Israel, still had to wait years before he saw that calling fulfilled. In the meantime, he was chased throughout the wilderness by the current king. In these biographies you will also see these men at times try to speed up the process of God’s will for them, but the results end in utter failure.

Sometimes we find ourselves in the waiting room.

Maybe you have heard this referred to as God’s waiting room. I want to encourage you that we all at times must wait in this room, and though it is not what we want, it is always what we need. I was about 12 years old sitting in a church service when an evangelist preached on giving your life fully to God in service to Him. I was convicted that night to do just that, and I promised God I would go where He wanted me to go and do what He wanted me to do. I put no restrictions on the call that God would give me. I was fully committed to serve Him in any way He chose. Soon after that I felt a strong burden to serve Him in a restricted access nation (RAN). I knew this would not be easy and that I would need to find a way to make this happen.

Because this country was neither then nor now giving out missionary visas, I needed to choose a profession that would allow me to gain access. After reading many biographies of those who had done this, I settled on trying to do something in the medical field. I started immediately to order the steps of my life to follow the call given to me by God. I took all the science classes I could while in high school – classes such as Biology, Advanced Biology, Chemistry, Chemistry 2, Advanced Math, and Physics. If I were going to go, I was sure I needed these classes for college. At the same time, I was interested in art and photography and took classes in those areas as well. One of my teachers saw this love of science and art and encouraged me to pursue both disciplines in college in a combined degree called “medical illustration.” This dual major included both pre-med and illustration and was a very intensive study, but it was one that I thought might fit me to get a job in a RAN country.

Sometimes we wait a long time.

Upon graduation from college, my original plan was to make a trip to the country to see what I could do to work there. Unfortunately, the country I chose to enter had just experienced a huge international incident and was denying visas. Through research, I learned that some people were able to gain access into this country by way of teaching. I then decided to use my wait time to get a master’s degree in education so that I could use this method to get into the country.

Then the opportunity comes.

After teaching for more than eight years, I heard about an opportunity to work with the people the Lord had called me to. I jumped at the chance to go to this place although this was not the exact place He called me. But it would be close, and I would be able to work with the right people. All I can say about this experience is, like Abraham’s going down to Egypt trusting his own strength and logic, it ended in utter failure and brought much heartache not only to me but to my family as well.

Now if you read this far you will notice that there was a lot of “I” in this story (30 or more so far), but God was still at work. God did have a plan for me, and He was shaping me and molding me into a vessel fit for His use (2 Timothy 2:21), a vessel that could honor Him. In 2003, the Lord finally saw fit to allow us to enter the land where He called me. It had been almost 22 years since I felt the Lord’s call on my life to go.

As I look back, I can now see God’s hand molding and moving in my life. He was pruning the things that needed to be pruned and cultivating the things that needed to be cultivated. There was testing just like He tested Israel in the wilderness to see if they would trust Him and follow his voice alone (Deuteronomy 13:3). God also used the testing of refining fire as we read about in both the Old and New Testaments. For example, Peter says God desires that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:7). God uses His waiting room for His purposes.

The waiting room is preparation time.

I have worked here now for almost 20 years, and I have used all that God prepared for me in His waiting room. After working for the Department of Education here for almost 5 years, using my teaching degree and helping place qualified Christian English teachers, the Lord closed that chapter.

We decided that we should start a company that would allow us to stay long term here. This company is a creative service company that allows me to use the art training, art direction training, video production training, and audio production training.

All this training was gained in God’s waiting room. We need to learn to trust God and His timing. Because of this we have been able to live in this RAN country and be involved in planting several churches and training many men for His service—all for His Glory and all because of His plan.

I am not saying that this is or was easy, but I can say with confidence that God never fails, and He equips us in ways we can’t comprehend. He has a purpose for His waiting room, so if you find yourself there today, trust God, and allow Him to prune and refine to make you a vessel fit for His use.