Learning to Praise in the Hallway
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I think it's safe to say we've all been there. We're waiting on an answer to a prayer we've prayed for a while, maybe years. We've gone to God on so many occasions asking Him to move in a certain situation. Or we're asking for a miracle to happen when we’re at our wit's end. I've been there too many times to recount. And I'm sure you've been there too.
My ministry journey and path to becoming a Student Pastor wasn't the easiest route. I felt a call to ministry in college and, at first, fought against it, but I finally gave in and let God call the shots. But the funny thing is that even after I gave up control, I didn't feel like God had control. Looking back, of course He did. He never let go, and I'm glad He didn't, but it sure didn't feel that way at the moment.
I thought that every door I walked up to would be the one I finally walked through. “God, this is the one, this one right here! I've been asking and praying and letting You do Your thing, so this is the door I want. Hello? Are You there? Why is this door locked too??” On to the next one. If I'm totally honest, it was a depressing, anxiety-filled way to live life. A locked door was another failure. A locked door was another reason I wasn't good enough. A locked door was another time God didn't want to use me. It felt like I was stuck with nowhere to go. But one day, I heard something that forever changed my perspective.
Praise God in the hallway. I realized that this was exactly how I felt. I felt like I was stuck in a hallway with nothing but a bunch of locked doors. I was stuck waiting for God to answer my prayer, and all the dead ends were consuming me. All I could focus on were the constant “no’s” that kept coming my way. But I was failing to remember that even though it seemed dark and the waiting was hard, God is faithful. He had given me a “yes” to this calling, so no matter how many locked doors I encountered, I could trust that He would eventually open the right one. So instead of giving all my attention to my anxiety or believing the lies a locked door told me, I was free to praise God even in the waiting.
When you're banging on doors and feeling the anxiety creeping up over you, are you praising God in the waiting? The waiting, or the hallway, if you will, is a hard place to live. God has given you dreams and hopes for your life. He's instilled purpose in your heart for more than just the day-to-day of life. I think ministers, pastors, and leaders feel this, especially because our purpose is much greater than you or me. And waiting to experience those hopes and dreams, that purpose, is hard. But as Christians, we have to be faithful even in hard times. We have to be faithful and trust God even in the waiting.
Even typing that last sentence almost made me wince a little bit. But it's true! I’m often challenged to think about how Jesus felt while He was waiting during the days leading up to the cross. Do you think it was easy for Him to break bread with the one who would betray Him? To smile like nothing was wrong as He marched into Jerusalem on a donkey? To care for others' needs knowing His path would be so painful? He even cried out to God in the garden to take away His struggle. I dare say He felt the pain of banging on doors in the hallway, waiting on God's timing.
And even still, He said, “not My will, but Yours.” He trusted His Father’s timing and praised Him in the midst of the waiting. He trusted that God’s timing and plan were right even when it led Him to the cross. He praised God in the hallway. And I thank God that He did.
It sounds like a simple concept: trust God even in the waiting. And even though I've seen God answer time and time again, it's hard to wait. It's hard not to know the answer or if there's one coming at all. Even now, there are big things in life we are actively praying for with no clear end in sight. But the great thing about it is that God is still faithful. He's never left me in the hallway. There's a door and answer for you too. Keep trusting that it's coming. Keep praising God in the hallway.
Share your thoughts with others in our YM360 community:
- How has God proven to be faithful to you after periods of waiting?
- What have you learned in your time spent “in the hallway” waiting on God?
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