I am not good at waiting! The other day I had the privilege of waiting in the tire shop while my car was being worked on. Needless to say, I waited longer than I wanted to, and my flesh began to creep in. “Antsy” may describe my actions. I sat for a while and scrolled through social media. I stood and paced the floor. I sat a while longer and stared at the wall. I walked outside to glance in the bay to see if they were even working on my car. Sound familiar?
After a few minutes of my selfish pacing, I heard the Spirit tell me to pay attention to the other man in the room who was patiently waiting. A long story made short, I was able to connect with a young soldier who was new to town and struck up a Gospel conversation. Notice how God used an interruption in my day to open a door to advance His mission.
I’m convinced that these doors are in our path multiple times each day. Often, I am so self-absorbed that I miss them. What a simple and powerful reminder of how God can use small moments in our day! It’s even a reminder of how He may use situations outside of our control, like complications in a tire installation, to give us a moment to be moved by the Spirit.
We see this play out in the life of Paul, as described in Acts 25. Paul patiently waited for Festus and Agrippa to walk through their power play and pomp. In his quiet patience, he waited for God to open a door to share the hope of Jesus. We read of this in Acts 26.
Clearly Paul was better at this than I am, maybe because he has witnessed God do so much in his own life.
But wait just one minute…..
Can we not also sit and reflect on the goodness and faithfulness of God? He has worked so mightily in my life, that I have no reason to not exercise a similar level of patience to what Paul exhibited. Let us look to Jesus and trust the providential hand of our Creator. Let us listen to the voice of the Spirit and wait patiently for Him to reveal doors that we can walk through.
These doors are not the proverbial doors for career advancement, but instead are the open doors to advance the mission of God to the world that needs to hear of the hope that can only come through Him. Consider the hope of Isaiah 40:27-31:
“Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord,and my right is disregarded by my God”? 28 Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.He does not faint or grow weary;his understanding is unsearchable. 29 He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.30 Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; 31 but they who wait for 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.”
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Isaiah 40:27-31). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ac 25:1–12). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). Acts of the Apostles (Vol. 2, p. 251). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.
Peterson, D. G. (2009). The Acts of the Apostles (pp. 649–650). Grand Rapids, MI; Nottingham, England: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.
Polhill, J. B. (1992). Acts (Vol. 26, p. 488). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.
Barrett, C. K. (2004). A critical and exegetical commentary on the Acts of the Apostles (p. 1135). Edinburgh: T&T Clark.
Chung-Kim, E., Hains, T. R., George, T., Manetsch, S. M., & Ellis, B. (Eds.). (2014). Acts: New Testament (Vol. VI, pp. 334–335). Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic.