I have spent the better part of the last couple of months waiting. Waiting on doctors, waiting on service men, waiting for meetings to start, waiting. As I sat in a variety of waiting rooms, I noticed a few things about these rooms. Although the rooms are relatively comfortable and convenient, they are designed to be a place of transition. You are not meant to wait forever there (though it may seem like it). You wait until you are called and directed to another place. Sometimes it is just another waiting room…again, you wait, making yourself as comfortable as possible, then it is time to move on.
I think this is the way life is…we are always waiting. Waiting for school to start/be over. Waiting for the next project, presentation, job opportunity. Waiting for the game to start–or the season to be over. Waiting for the cool weather to get here and then planning our summer vacation starting in January. Where ever we are, we are comfortable for a while, but then we are ready for transition. Just like sitting in even the most comfortable waiting room eventually gets tiresome…being in one season of life can make us long for the next season to arrive…we long for the next thing..then the next…then the next. We don’t like to wait for too long.
But waiting is necessary. We must wait for the right time to drive a car, vote, marry..the list goes on. Waiting is part of the deal of life. Sometimes waiting is fun. As my children anticipate Christmas morning, they are enjoying this brief season of wait…but they will be ready to transition into the next “season” of playing with those things they have been waiting to unwrap. Part of the joy of the unwrapping comes from the time spent in the waiting. When we finally receive what we have been waiting for, it is all the more precious to us.
This happens not just with the little things…the favorite dessert on our birthday, the perfect present from a spouse, but in the big things as well. As I have tried to be content in physical waiting rooms over the past month, I can tell you how exhilarating it was to finally be called to the next place, to learn something new, to hear the good news, the next step.
Although waiting is temporary, when we do not know when the wait will end, it can seem like it lasts forever, especially if the “waiting room” is uncomfortable. And maybe the waiting room just turns into another, and another…we move from one wait to another. How can we sit there in an uncomfortable place in our lives and be content in just waiting? What if, when we are asked to move out of this waiting room of life, we are just moved to an equally uncomfortable place, just to wait longer? I know many who are waiting in extremely uncomfortable circumstances..waiting for court decisions, confirmed diagnosis, a prodigal child to come home. Even when this wait is over, they will go to another waiting room…mediations, treatments, rebuilding broken relationships. When I think about the discomfort of their waiting rooms, I become more thankful of my own. But I also understand waiting for something that doesn’t seem possible, probable, or imminent. There are things in my life for which I wait. Things that may never come.
How about you? Are you waiting for your marriage to improve, physical healing or at least relief? Are you waiting to look in the mirror one day and like what you see? Are you waiting for something you are not even sure of what it is?
How do we do this? The Bible tells us many things about waiting:
Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.
Psalm 37:7-9 Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret, it leads only to evildoing. For evildoers will be cut off, But those who wait for the LORD, they will inherit the land.
Romans 8:24b-25 But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
When we allow God’s Word to decorate our life waiting rooms, we can find comfort there. We can use the wait to build strength, calm and center ourselves, and hope for what we do not yet have. We can use the waiting room to give us room to wait.
For a more in-depth look at waiting on the Lord, go to: http://bible.org/article/waiting-lord