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Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10 NKJV) reads the sign on God’s waiting room wall.

You can be glad because God is good.

You can be still because he is active.

You can rest because he is busy. . . .


To wait, biblically speaking, is not to assume the worst, worry, fret, make demands, or take control. Nor is waiting inactivity. It is a sustained effort to stay focused on God through prayer and belief. To wait is to “rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him; . . . not fret” (Psalm 37:7 NKJV).

Those who wait on the LORD

Shall renew their strength;

They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.


Fresh strength. Renewed vigor. Legs that don’t grow weary. Delight yourself in God, and he will bring rest to your soul.

In Her Own Words:



had been married for twenty-five years and was the mother of three children. Then, in 1996, life as I knew it in Little Rock, Arkansas, ceased. The divorce was mutual, but hurtful because of his infidelity. I felt a strange kind of freedom and peace when he moved to Tennessee with his new wife. Little did I know the sorrow and despair I would soon face. Our two older children were grown and well on their way in life. Our youngest daughter Heather was thirteen. We shared court-ordered custody: she was to live with me and have visitations with her father.

In June 1998 Heather’s father picked her up for a three-week visit. She and I had decided to make a new and better life for ourselves by moving to Texas after she returned. But two days before her scheduled return Heather called me. I could tell she had been crying. She told me she was staying with her father. He had convinced her that a better life was with his new family, not with me.


I couldn’t breathe as I slumped down to the floor. Heather told me that she loved me and that she would be there in a couple of days to retrieve her things. The next morning at 7:00 my doorbell rang, and I was handed a summons to appear in court: her father and his new wife wanted full custody of my child. I knew they were doing this out of spite, and I also knew that I could not face him when he moved her out of my house. So I moved on to Texas without Heather. My pride and my hurt guided that decision.


Four years passed without much conversation because Heather felt I had abandoned her. She wouldn’t answer my phone calls, or she’d make some hateful remark before she hung up. The pain overwhelmed me, and I despised myself. I had missed out on seeing my child go on her first date and learn to drive. I hadn’t been able to share all the wonderful “firsts” that we parents witness. And I could no longer hug her. I blamed myself for all of this.


Soon after she graduated from high school, Heather joined the Navy. I knew then that she was gone from me for good. I hadn’t turned to God up to this point, and I didn’t then either. And instead of turning to him, I went down a dark, sin-filled road in an effort to avoid him. But the pain of my sin became unbearable. I got on my knees and asked God to forgive me, and then I forgave myself. Then I felt the love of God fall upon me and enfold me. A new, whole life was now possible. My joy was back.


Then one afternoon the phone rang. I heard a familiar voice say, “Mom, I want to come home.” Heather was leaving the Navy. Two days later I hugged my daughter for the first time in four years. That was 2002. God heard my cries and sent Heather home to me. Now, ten years later, God has blessed me with a wonderful son-in-law and three beautiful grandbabies. My daughter gave her life to the Lord and was baptized. Heather and I hug each other a lot now. God carried both of us through a rough and painful four years.


Whatever we may have to go through now is less than nothing compared with the magnificent future God has planned for us.


What is coming will make sense of what is happening. Let God finish his work. Let the composer complete his symphony. The forecast is simple. Good days. Bad days. But God is in all days. He is the Lord of the famine and the feast, and he uses both to accomplish his will.


“Remember me when it is well with you, and please show kindness to me; make mention of

me to Pharaoh, and get me out of this house. . .

. I have done nothing here that they should put me into the dungeon. . . .” Yet the chief butler

did not remember Joseph, but forgot him. Then

it came to pass, at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh had a dream.

GENESIS 40:14–15, 23; 41:1 NKJV

Two years! Twenty-four months of silence. One hundred and four weeks of waiting. Seven hundred and ninety days of wondering. Two thousand one hundred and ninety meals alone. Seventeen thousand five hundred and twenty hours of listening for God yet hearing nothing but silence.

Plenty of time to grow bitter, cynical, angry. Folks have given up on God for lesser reasons in shorter times.


Not Joseph. On a day that began like any other, he heard a stirring at the dungeon entrance. Loud, impatient voices demanded, “We are here for the Hebrew! Pharaoh wants the Hebrew!” Joseph looked up from his corner to see the prison master, white faced and stammering. “Get up! Hurry, get up!” Two guards from the court were on his heels.


Joseph remembered them from his days in Potiphar’s service. They took him by the elbows and marched him out of the hole. He squinted at the brilliant sunlight. They walked him across a courtyard into a room. Attendants flocked around him. They removed his soiled clothing, washed his body, and shaved his beard. They dressed him in a white robe and new sandals. The guards reappeared and walked him into the throne room.


And so it was that Joseph and Pharaoh looked into each other’s eyes for the first time.

The king hadn’t slept well the night before. Dreams troubled his rest. He had heard of Joseph’s skill. “They say you can interpret dreams. My counselors are mute as stones.

Can you help me?”


Joseph’s last two encounters didn’t end so well. Mrs. Potiphar lied about him. The butler forgot about him. In both cases, Joseph mentioned the name of God. Perhaps he should hedge his bets and keep his faith under wraps.


He didn’t. “Not I, but God. God will set Pharaoh’s mind at ease” (Genesis 41:16 MSG).

Joseph emerged from his prison cell bragging on God. Jail time didn’t devastate his faith; it deepened it.


And you? You aren’t in prison, but you may be infertile or inactive or in limbo or in between jobs or in search of health, help, a house, or a spouse. Are you in God’s waiting room? If so, here is what you need to know: While you wait, God works.


“My Father is always at his work,” Jesus said (John 5:17 NIV). God never twiddles his thumbs. He never stops. He takes no vacations. He rested on the seventh day of creation but got back to work on the eighth and hasn’t stopped since. Just because you are idle, don’t assume God is.


This season in which you find yourself may

puzzle you, but it does not bewilder God.


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