In everyday life, the waiting room is this in-between place that we want to spend minimal time in because we’re just there in anticipation of getting to the room we really came for. But God has designed our waiting times with profound purpose. He does not waste anything! What may feel like an in-between place to you is actually a place of preparation to Him, and it requires spiritual discipline and practice. Give yourself grace as you learn to wait. Waiting is a holy posture, and you’ll need to develop the muscles to hold that posture. It takes time and training, and we’re much better together. Do you have someone that you can share this journey with? Invite someone now so you can testify about the victories, the setbacks, and the questions. Learn together. Encourage each other. Borrow faith when needed. Testify!
What does it mean to testify? To serve or prove as evidence of something or someone. Take that definition and add the name of Jesus. As you read it, you will likely gravitate toward one of two groups. The first group is the people who can rattle off multiple stories of how God has moved in their lives. You’ve seen the victory come to pass and the faithfulness of God is on your lips in the grocery store, coffee shop, or on the phone without hesitation! God is good!
Then there are those who WANT to say God is good, but in reality, you’re still praying through something and that’s hard to say right now. You’re still in the waiting room and not quite sure how to glorify God in it yet. It may still be a bit messy and broken there too.
My name is Jenna Perry, and I am a pastor at the Jackson County campus. I need to admit that testifying isn’t always easy or natural, even for pastors. So when we find ourselves in that second group, how can we testify in the waiting? What if you don’t have a song in this symphony yet?
I am reminded of 1 Peter 3 that says, “to always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” Even on the most Eeyore-kind-of-day, there is still something good to say when you look for it—you have life, breath, food, shelter, someone who loves you, someone who you love, a Savior, a church, and much more! Start with the basics. Cultivate gratitude and accept the fact that joy and sorrow can coexist.
After being diagnosed with breast cancer, I have been in more waiting rooms than I care to count. Waiting for surgery to come. Waiting for healing to come. Waiting for strength to return. But you know what? God was faithful in every circumstance. I can trace his hand, see His heart and there is a story of His grace intertwined in every detail. “You’ve got a lion inside of those lungs, so get up and praise the Lord”! These lyrics became my vertical posture from my horizontal position.
I will never forget the day we told our kids, who were 6 and 8, that their mom had cancer. How could God possibly use this heartbreak for His glory? After a few questions and the initial shock, my daughter looked me square in the eyes and said “Mom, are you afraid?”. I paused, took a breath, and then replied, “No honey, I’m not afraid because I know God is with me”. What she said next birthed a testimony in her. “Mom, if you’re not afraid then I’m not afraid”. The peace that surpasses our understanding became a covering for her. She received it, and so did I.
Don’t wait for the perfect moment or the perfect words to testify. Beauty or mess, pain or promise, smiles or tears– don’t overcomplicate your story. Just tell it. Find a sister, friend, pastor, family member and tell them what you know so far. Let them in and let God do the rest.