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Wasted Time

February 2, 2020

Stopwatch, Author TheJosh (PD)

But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord; I say, ‘You are my God.’  My times are in Your hand…” (Ps. 31: 14-15).

The practice of law involves a great deal of “hurry up and wait” – the rush toward urgent deadlines, conferences, trials, and other aspects of litigation then delayed by circumstance.  Whether in court or in traffic; with clients, adversaries, or witnesses, the waste of precious time can be infuriating.

The Bible is filled with examples of delay.  Abraham waited 25 years for the son he was promised by God.  Sold into slavery, Joseph spent over 20 years in Egypt before being reunited with his brothers.  The Israelites waited 400 years for liberation from bondage, then spent 40 more years wandering in the desert.  Anointed by Samuel, David had to wait another 20 years or so before ascending to the throne.

Alot of downtime, assuming it was pointless.

Our own lives are packed with delay – the “in-between” days, months, and years when nothing important seems to be happening to us.  We may have waited with anticipation for true love, that first big break, or our 21st birthday. We wait on job interviews and promotions; on exam results, verdicts, and diagnoses – good news and bad.

Our time can be parsed into even smaller segments.  We wait for our kids after school; at dance class, soccer, and the dentist.  We wait on line at the post office, the supermarket, the pharmacy, and the movies.  We spend time waiting in doctors’ offices and airport lounges. Hospitals actually have rooms designated for waiting.

So is all this delay just “wasted” time?  No, I have come to believe that God utilizes the experience of waiting – that feeling like sandpaper against the skin – to refine us, in ways we cannot imagine.

For one thing, we can be used wherever God has placed us.  Perhaps we are there to offer comfort to a stranger, while we wait.  Perhaps we are there to shine a light in what would otherwise be darkness.

Perhaps we are there as a witness to events, the voice for victims unable to speak for themselves.  Perhaps we are there to learn faithfulness, to share a friend’s pain in the valley of the shadow of death.  Perhaps we are there in preparation for a future task as yet unknown.

Delay fosters patience.  As we wait, we learn to recognize opportunities for service already within our reach.  Waiting on the Lord, we gradually grow in faith, willingly entrusting God with our lives.

Mankind waited countless millennia before the promise of Salvation was fulfilled in the Person of Jesus Christ.  But the Savior who restored the relationship between God and man was well worth the wait.  Ultimately, it is in Him we put our trust.

Originally posted 12/29/13


  1. How this post resonates with me! For over 40 years Anna, I have felt that the time would come when the Lord would finally begin using me in the manner I had always imagined He would.

    What that looks like I cannot say because I do not know. I just know that I have always felt this “pull” to do something greater.

    In the waiting, I have learned to bloom where I’m planted. God has taught me that every day provides its own opportunities to be used as the hands and feet of Christ.

    I am at the point of my life where rather than always looking for the greater, I am becoming more content in the small things. Being faithful in the little things is extremely rewarding,as I am learning.

    • I am so glad you liked the post! I know from my own experience that we can become extremely discouraged waiting on some “great” opportunity for service. Yet God can draw our hearts to Him (and use us to draw the hearts of others) wherever we may be.

  2. The little moments of waiting are good opportunities to pray. (It took me years to get to the point where I recognize the opportunity that BEFORE the moment had passed. :/ ) Sometimes the little prayers sent up while waiting get answered in moments of serendipity, such as a stranger striking up a conversation in line and an opening to “plant seeds” of the gospel.
    (The older I get, the more I want to take advantage of every moment I have left. 😉 )

  3. “I have come to believe that God utilizes the experience of waiting – that feeling like sandpaper against the skin – to refine us, in ways we cannot imagine”. – I just love this line. It resonates dearly with my own belief and convictions. Thanks for posting this, Anna.

  4. Silvia Lia Leigh, MD permalink

    For me, waiting was a very hard lesson to learn. I never knew that I was so impatient until I was told to wait. This impatience manifested as a turning of my ‘belly’… I will become easily distracted.. and even rude when I was waiting… The Holy Spirit had to do deep surgery in my heart. The result is wonderful. I now ‘love’ to wait. “Blessed is the one who waits for and reaches the end…” (Dan 12:12). The word ‘blessed’ in Hebrew and in Greek means to be happy, worthy to be congratulated. These days I don’t wait for men to acknowledge my spiritual efforts… I congratulate myself for being happy as I wait for God to move on my behalf. When I was impatient, my life became very short. I will jump over so many precious moments, desiring to see only the success at the end of a waiting boring fearful tunnel. But since I have been delivered from this demon of impatience I now love to wait…It is a miracle! I gladly number my days to gain a heart of wisdom.. I have time to admire the color of the grass (it is of different shades of green)… I give myself space to look around and see peoples’ eyes… I find ways to help the helpless… In between cooking the soup and washing the dishes, I am able to squeeze a freshly baked poem… even the salad is sweeter… Tomorrow smiles at me (it used to bully me with anxious things unknown)… My English is getting better… My heart is softer… Waiting has increased my faith for I know that the Holy Spirit is with me… when things seem stagnant, I am not alone… I stand still I know that He who waits with me, is the Lord! And that is all that matters! Praise the Lord!

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  1. Wasted Time — A Lawyer’s Prayers | Talmidimblogging

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