The Waiting Game

Sunday, November 13, 2022
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "The Little Brown Church In The Vale"1 (Lyrics)

Hebrews 3:7-8 – So, as the Holy Spirit says: "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the desert." (NIV)

As winter approaches each year, many residents of Atlin enjoy playing the waiting game: putting off as many chores to prepare for winter as possible, in exchange for taking advantage of every good weather day that we still have left, so that we can be out and about enjoying ourselves. Thus, when the snow does fly, there are a lot of groans and smacking of foreheads by those who have been caught short and who now have to endure the miserable weather as they slog about in wet snow cutting and stacking wood and getting their houses in order for the next five to six months of the deep freeze.

However, putting off winter chores in order to enjoy the last nice days of fall is not the only thing that people often postpone. Many put off giving their lives to Christ or living their lives for Christ. One man told me that he had made up his mind to serve Christ, but not until he had done all the things that he wanted to do and made all the money that he wanted to make. Then and only then would he decide to allow God into his life. Others, though they have accepted Christ into their lives as Saviour, have put off allowing Him to be Lord of their lives, because they are afraid of what God might ask them to do.

Both types of people have chosen to play the waiting game: waiting to know or to serve God until they are ready to, until it is convenient and will not interfere with their plans or security. Yet, the waiting game is never wise, for we never know when the snow may fly, so to speak. Life changes on a dime. The plans that we make today can go up in smoke or in a heartbeat tomorrow. Death waits for no man. We may think that we have plenty of time to make a decision to know and serve God. But in reality, none of us does, for as the apostle James has written, "Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes." (James 4:14 NIV)

When the mist of life vanishes, there is no time to make a decision to know or serve Christ. It is too late, and our waiting game decision has become an irreversible one, with eternal consequences.

So today, if you hear God's voice calling to you, do not harden your heart, for God is offering you a life of untold peace, joy, and eternal fulfillment; a life that far outweighs anything, even the best of things that you think this world has to offer; a life that is not filled by fear of what God may ask of you, but a life that is filled with the perfect love of God Whose plans for us are always to prosper us and not to harm us.

Prayer: Father God, thank You for Your patience and goodness towards us, even if we are playing the waiting game. Help us, Lord, to want to hear and respond to the voice of Your Spirit as He calls to us to turn from self to You. Open our eyes to Your great love through Your Son Jesus Christ, so that Your love may come to reside eternally within our hearts. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Lynne Phipps <>
Atlin, British Columbia, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Great advice and reminder, Lynne. Thanks and blessings!

    Ironically, including God in your life makes you very rich – joy, peace, hope.

    Hi Lynne,
    Amen and Amen.

    Thanks Lynne. What an encouraging call for us to act now, and not wait too long.

    A profound devotional – opposite to these difficult times.

    Amen, Lynne. Thank you for sharing this encouraging devotional with us.

    Thanks Lynne. This is so good, says it so well, especially the last paragraph and prayer. Blessings.

    Thanks for this devotional. A great one to send on to family.

    Hello Lynne
    Such great advice and so very true. This makes me think of the 10 virgins also…

    Thanks, Lynne for such wise advice.
    We have our first snow yesterday; very pretty but some areas near us got poor visibility and driving problems. We hope your deep freeze is still ahead.
    God bless!

    Good Sunday morning Lynne, as I became an old, medically challenged person, I, on occasion use the saying, “Why do today what you can leave till tomorrow.”
    As you so plainly pointed out, when it comes to faith a lot of people do that as well.

    Hi Lynne,
    Thank you. We’ll said. I’ve known folks like that and was also there once myself. Praise God for His grace and mercy. May your words, animated by the Holy Spirit, speak to the hearts of many in need who read your devotional today.

    A family member’s wife comes from a strong Dutch Reformed background, but doesn’t believe.
    Her parents had just left after visiting and doing many repairs.
    This morning she got the devastating news that her Dad drove home safely, but early today, had a heart attack, and died.
    Both of us are at a loss to understand this!

    Oh my goodness, Lynne. Today’s devotional speaks to me in the sense that I am a “Martha” not a “Mary.” Picking up the Bible to read it, just to read it, often escapes me. For instance as a member of the Congregational Care Committee at our church there is plenty to do in terms of members, activities, etc. This sort of thing attracts me. This afternoon I will pick up the Bible to prepare for a meeting tomorrow, but to just read it… well, I will admit that other reading material attracts me more. Hope the Lord knows I love him!

    Dear Lynne,
    Thank you so much for another of your very meaningful and insightful devotionals. You always write such good comparisons of ordinary life ways with how much better life is when the Lord’s ways are accepted. There are those people who feel they can do things their own way without the Lord in their lives and it is so wonderful to see how much better and happier they become when they accept the Lord into their lives. His love and care brings so many good happenings to those who follow Him. Blessings for these inspiring writings you do and may you enjoy a delightful day.

    My Dear Lynne, a beautiful Sunday afternoon to you, along with many blessings!!!
    You’ve done it again with your message. How can anyone put off their salvation to do all of the things they think has to be done first when we know that will never happen.
    At the close of our service today our Pastor had a healing service, and a large number went forward with various problems.
    I really wanted to go too but I’m not moving. Next thing I knew, my daughter was by my side taking me up front. One of our precious ladies came whose husband has refused to commit his life to Christ even though he has had major health problems for several years. She was asking for his spiritual healing. How I would love to go visit him and ask the Lord to give me the courage to lead him. I have never been led to do that but I’m feeling more about. I wonder how I can do it, at least give him something to think about. I’ll need prayer to do it if the opportunity leads me to him.
    Have a great week ahead and stay safe from all that beautiful snow that can be mean. God loves you and so do I.

    Hi Lynne
    Sadly, those who put off knowing God will someday regret those days of separation from God … but it’s oh so hard to convince them of that today!
    Good stuff!

    Thanks so much Lynne.
    We have most of our pre-winter chores done, but I must say that every year I seem to be late planting bulbs. Last year I had to chop through over an inch of frozen soil. I hope I never have to do that again, so I better get at it.
    Blessings friend.

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