I enter the “waiting room” and take my seat. I quickly scan the room and calculate the time anticipated I will wait. Somehow I feel as though I am in a competition. I consider how I can get out of this waiting room sooner than expected.
The door opens and someone in the next row gets called in. Lucky them. Wonder how long they waited? Minutes pass by and I begin to bore. More people pile into the room. More names are called. Didn’t I get here before that person? Why are they going in before me? Now I am starting to get annoyed.
Minutes turn into hours. And hours turn into days. And days turn into months. And months turn into years. I begin to consider the dreadful thought that my name may NEVER get called. I may not ever get out of this “waiting room”! Is that possible?! Is that allowed?!
Waiting brings out my ugly. I am not a patient person and God has spent much time and effort pruning that out of me. Unfortunately, it has taken way longer than I expected, or hoped.
Psalm 34:8 says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good”. But what if “taste and see” becomes “wait and see”?
What I have found is that waiting is relative. I do not respond the same to all times of waiting. Short term waiting brings out just regular impatience in me, as when I am running late and behind someone slow in traffic. That is one level of ugly.
But there is a whole other time of waiting I want to address. That is the long term waiting that goes on and on…..and on and on……and on and on. It is a waiting without any promises of completion. There is no verse in the Bible to inform of it’s definitive end. There is hope, but no guarantee. And no explanation.
I think for me, my efforts to “understand ” the reason for waiting is what can frustrate me the most. So this brings me to my goal for today. I want to share my hard-earned evaluations from long term waiting. I know many of you will relate and if nothing else, I want to affirm you as you continue to wait. I want to wait well. I want us all to wait well.
I don’t think it matters what each of us may be waiting for because the emotions and frustrations can still be the same. So whether you are waiting for reconciliation in a relationship, or fulfillment in a relationship, or physical healing, or vindication, or emotional well-being, or job opportunities, or a dream to become a reality, or the salvation of another, or to be loved and valued by another, or a baby, or the fruit of what you have spent years sowing to ripen and produce the long awaited harvest……it is all the same. No matter what we may each wait for, it is equally important.
So here is my list of my lessons learned in the waiting room of life:
- Waiting is hard. Enough said.
- Any preconceived ideas of how long the wait may take is absolutely a waste of time. So stop thinking about that.
- It is of no value to evaluate the wait of others and the fairness of your wait compared to theirs. Some people wait less than you, but some people wait longer. Some people don’t seem to wait at all (appearances can be deceiving). So you tend to your knitting and let them tend to theirs. ( common Kentucky saying)
- Be careful of the root of bitterness developing as you wait longer than expected. Don’t give in to synacism and sarcasm.
- Flee the temptation of envy. It only harms your relationships and makes you feel worse.
- Fight against isolationism. Don’t give in to the temptation to withdraw from people, especially your fellow believers.
- Seek and keep close Christian fellowship and prayer support.
- Don’t over share with others. You are not obligated to give everyone all the details. Keep it minimal, except with your closest Christian support system.
- Determine the direction of your mind. Don’t give in to stewing. Dwelling on your wait will only increase the burden of it.
- Begin each day focusing on what is good and right about your life. There are way more blessings to be grateful for than focusing on the few things you are waiting for.
- Stay in God’s Word!! There you will find strength, hope and encouragement needed while you wait.
- As you wrestle with God, keep clinging even as you surrender,time and time again.
- Flee temptation and the enemy’s schemes to provoke despair by avoiding Facebook or certain people and their conversations filled with boasting of their life.
- Listen to worship music to help control your mind and heart.
- Be mindful of how worse your situation could be.
- Serve and minister to others. By focusing on others and trying to help/serve them, you will feel better.
As I stood in church today with my husband and two sons (my daughter was not home from college), I worshipped with gratefulness as two things I have been waiting for long term are in the process of coming to pass. I am still guarded about them completely happening without something going wrong, but I do think the door has opened and MY name has finally been called.
As I get up to make my way through the door, I know I am not the same woman who first sat down in that chair in this waiting room. I can’t stay the same when I have waited that long. I am changed forever more. And I know it is for the better! To His glory and grace.