Many years ago, our oldest wouldn’t wake up one morning. It wasn’t stubbornness on his part. He was feverish, lethargic, and simply couldn’t stay awake. I let him sleep. But as the clock ticked toward noon and I couldn’t rouse him even for a drink of water, my mama’s heart revved as worry dug in deep.
God allowed us to get a same-day appointment with our doctor. I hefted my unconscious boy into his office. Long story short, he thought it would be best to take Peter to the ER.
Yeah, my heart picked up its pace even more at those words. With a quick call to Hubs to come pick up Edmund, I drove as quickly as was safe toward the hospital nearest our home.
Once in the waiting room, trying to fill out paperwork with our oldest on my lap, and our youngest trying to figure out what was going on, I couldn’t breathe deep. I turned in the clipboard with my scrawled answers on the papers.
And we waited.
Waiting rooms can be depressing places. Everyone is lost in their own set of troubling circumstances. The news blares into a somber room as people sit in uncomfortable plastic chairs. Isolation seems to be the companion of each person/group in that place.
Each person/party waits to be called back to be seen by a cadre of medical personnel. To move forward in “making it better.”
In the waiting that afternoon, I prayed, a lot. I texted friends and family to pray. And something in sharing our uncertain struggle snapped the sense of isolation. Comfort enveloped me knowing others lifted us up to our Father.
Isn’t life like that sometimes? We’re in life’s waiting room.
I feel like I’m in the waiting room right now. I’m not waiting because of difficult circumstances . . . this time. I’m wrapping up a writing project and preparing to wait for others to make a decision about this book.
This verse is one I continually come back to. Often, I’m impatiently waiting for God to do something. To heal a loved one or a relationship. To answer prayers for heart desires. To change something in my life.
Waiting always seems hard. But as I read this verse recently, I kept thinking about the waiting—the pause—before another person speaks. I’m waiting to hear what the Lord wants to tell me. I’m waiting with anticipation to know more of His plan.
Isn’t that how life’s waiting room is sometimes? We’re waiting, but do we anticipate hearing our Father’s words for us? Sometimes when we’re trying to fill our time or to stay busy so we don’t think about the thing we’re waiting for, we just need to pause.
To be still and listen.
I sense that God wants me to be more attuned to His voice, His thoughts. Those pauses can be hard. I want to move, to act, to do something—anything—to move forward. But often, God pauses before He speaks, before He moves in our lives.
There will probably be times this year where I will have to choose courage while waiting for Him to act. There will be times when I’ll be tempted to lose heart. It’s in those times when our faith finds feet as we wait for Him to act on our behalf…when we choose to trust that He WILL act.
There will be times this year—for each of us—when we must wait through hard situations . . . whether they be in hospital waiting rooms, for a new job, a new child (or grandchild), a change in circumstance, or even those hard things like a diagnosis.
No matter what we’re waiting for, we don’t wait alone. As we sit in life’s waiting room, God’s there with us, holding our hand, reassuring us with His quiet, steadfast presence.
When we turn to Him, He can quiet our hearts—our thoughts—with His presence and His peace. He never promises to remove the waiting periods in our lives. It’s in those places where we truly learn how to draw in close to Him and find all that we need in Him. Comfort. Peace. Reassurance. Strength.
As for our Peter . . . he spent three days in the hospital healing from some unknown virus. When he came home, he needed time to recover. I looked back at how God met us in that waiting room on the first day and in the ensuing days.
When we find ourselves in life’s waiting room this year, let’s choose to have hearts that anticipate our Lord’s words spoken just for us. Let’s pause to remember He loves us and He’s working in the waiting.
What about you? What have you learned about God in life’s waiting room? When have you seen God meet you in the waiting times?