[Paul had arrived in Caesarea to appear before the Governor, Felix, who told him:] "I will hear your case myself when your accusers arrive," the governor told him. Then the governor ordered him kept in the prison at Herod's headquarters.
— Acts 23:35 NLT
"Wait!" I don't know about you, but I hate to hear what now feels like a throwaway message told to us when we are on hold waiting to speak to someone on the phone:
"All of our agents are currently helping someone else right now. Your concerns are important to us, so please continue to hold until the next agent is available."
"Please continue to hold" in our world often means: "Get ready; you are going to wait quite a long time!" But our waits are short compared to Paul's. He had many times of waiting as he slowly made his way through the Roman legal system. Paul used these times of waiting, so they were not wasted. He assigned his helpers to minister to churches, and he wrote to churches.* He led those around him to Christ.** Paul did not waste his waiting times. He "redeemed the time" and put it to good use. So, the next time you get caught waiting on hold, why not jot a note to someone who needs encouragement or make a list of those you need to call and offer encouragement. Let's not waste our waits!
Forgive me, Father, for the times I have been angry with the people who have had to deal with me after waiting to get an answer to my questions or concerns. I want to treat people better and offer grace rather than harsh words. Use me to bless and not to be another burden. Holy Spirit, I ask that you help me learn to be more creative in using my waiting times. I don't want to waste my waits, but I want to use those times to bless and encourage others. I ask for your help, in Jesus' name. Amen.