I recently ran across a really great quote on Pinterest. Here it is:
Until God opens the next door, praise Him in the hallway.
Isn’t that a good one?
We often talk about how God is the way- maker and the door-opener. And of course, He is. But sometimes, life puts us in the hallway, in a period of waiting for the next door to open. So what do we do then?
According to this quote, we should praise God in our times of waiting. But, really, isn’t that hard?
Usually, when we’re waiting on God, it is for something we really feel we need or want. Sometimes what we’re waiting on would bring excitement; other times, it would bring peace or healing in a desperate situation. No matter what we’re waiting on, waiting is hard. The hallway is a hard place to be.
But according to God’s word, we are to praise Him at all times, not just when He opens doors. Ephesians 5:19-20 says, “Be filled with the Holy Spirit, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (NLT).
So what can we praise God for if we are waiting on Him to answer our prayers? I agree, sometimes it’s hard to feel like praising God when our prayers are so heavy on our hearts. But the Bible gives us some ideas.
1. God is the same. Always. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Heb. 13:8, NIV). If God is the same, then He constantly maintains His character at all times. What I mean is, if He is good when the door opens, He is also good while we’re in the hallway, waiting. If God is loving when He answers our prayers, He is loving when we’re on our knees, praying.
There are so many praiseworthy attributes to God’s character. Here’s a short, but definitely not exhaustive list. God is: holy, love, righteous, merciful, forgiving, generous, gracious, powerful, creative, mighty, awe-inspiring, wise, all-knowing. He is our peace, our savior, our redeemer, our friend and our Father. I love the new Christ Tomlin song that asks the question: “Is He worthy?” It then answers the question with a resounding, “He is!”
2. Focus on our Blessings, not our list of needs. We have a great example in Jesus. Jesus knew that His ultimate mission on earth was to die a horrible death on a cross. He knew He would be shut out of God’s presence for a time. He knew His closest friends would desert Him. So why did He do it? Hebrews 12:2b tells us, “For the joy set before Him, He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (NIV).
This same chunk of scripture tells us we should “fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith” (v.2a) Jesus suffered so much, but He kept His eyes on the joy before Him. When we fix our eyes on Jesus, we can see Him and the joy He brings.
Even when we find ourselves in the hallways of life, we still have much to praise God for. With our eyes on Jesus, we can see His goodness and praise Him. We can experience His presence and rejoice. We can look around and see His hand, even in the waiting, and we can be at peace.
When we do those things, our eyes are open to see the blessings around us. Because our God is good, all the time, there is always something to praise Him for. Even while we’re waiting for our next door to open.