Monday, September 17, 2012

THE WAITING ROOM

"Teach us, O Lord, the disciplines of patience, for to wait is often harder than to work."
~Peter Marshall

The minutes felt like hours as we sat in the hospital waiting room. What was taking so long? I silently prayed the same words I'd been repeating since we'd arrived. "Please be with her. Let everything be okay."

I have never been good at waiting...at least, for the things that really matter. I can be patient when it comes to trivial stuff. I've stared at the same broken window in our kitchen for over a decade. And the new paint of coat our bedroom has been crying out for since we moved here fourteen years ago remains unanswered. These things may annoy me at times, but I can wait for them.

It's the deeper longings that exhaust me in the wait ~ the healing touch a family member needs...the mending of a rift in a relationship...a job that will help us pay the bills. But when I look back on my periods of waiting, I see how they held a beauty and purpose all their own. And I chide myself for making such a fuss during the stretches of uncertainty. My impatience got me nowhere. I wanted the process to hurry up, and I often created more problems than solutions when I pushed things on my own timetable. The times I did choose to wait patiently, my answers came. Once it was over, I could catch a glimpse of the bigger picture. And I know I appreciated it all the more because it didn't arrive quickly or easily.

Once again I find myself in a waiting room ~ waiting for my next "assignment"...waiting for my husband to ease up on his work load...waiting to see where life will take us and what it will hold. The shifting moods and unwelcome feelings that waiting triggers are still alive and well. But I know there's a bigger picture. And because my faith has strengthened over the years, I believe it will all turn out fine.

"Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord." (Psalm 27:14) Isaiah 40 tells us, "Those who wait upon God get fresh strength." I have found this to be so true. I can let my feelings weigh me down, or I can allow myself to be strengthened as I wait for Him.

How about you? What does your waiting room look and feel like? Do you find yourself in a season of uncertainty and "what next"? I'm right there with you. Pull up a chair and join me. We can wait this one out together.

"Waiting is not just something we have to do until we get what we want. Waiting is part of the process of becoming what God wants us to be."
~John Ortberg             

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