Life in the Waiting Room

Reflecting back, I have not generally associated good times with Waiting Rooms.

The first Waiting Room I had significant experience with was the one right outside the Principal’s Office.  I became quite familiar with that little room.  It was not a joyous place.  We little boys sitting there spoke very little to each other.  We avoided eye contact.  We hoped not to be noticed.  There was an anticipation of what was to come, but it was not an eager expectation.  When your name was called and you were summoned back behind the door, good things rarely followed.  I learned early on in life not to like the Waiting Room.

As life progressed along, most of the other Waiting Rooms I experienced, also, were not places of joy.

The Department of Motor Vehicles has a BIG Waiting Room. What I learned there was to measure my wait in hours and not minutes, and that inevitably when I did make it to the counter, there would be one critical document that I had forgotten to bring along.

The Mechanic Shop has a Waiting Room.  The coffee there is always bad.  The vinyl seats have suspicious stains on them.  And inevitably the mechanic will come out from behind the door and explain how there are twelve things wrong with my car that I was not previously aware of.

And, of course, Hospitals always have Waiting Rooms.  In my line of work, I’ve spent more time in hospital Waiting Rooms than I would have preferred.  In fact, I can’t imagine that anyone would ever WANT to be in the Hospital Waiting Room.  We read, distractedly.  We glance at whatever is playing on the television.  We play cards…make conversation…but mostly, we just worry.  We just sit, worry, and wait for the verdict to come from beyond the door.

I know it’s not a completely fair reputation, but along the way I’ve been conditioned to think of a Waiting Room as a place that I want to avoid.

The problem is that sometimes life feels a lot like a Waiting Room.

  • Because I’m waiting for the phone call…
  • Because I’m waiting for the test results…
  • Because I’m waiting to see how the finances are going to pan out…
  • Because I’m waiting to see how my kid is going to turn out…

And each time I get that same nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach, just the same.  I nervously hope for the best, but secretly fear the worst, and inwardly climb the walls while I wait for the outcome.

However, when I read the Bible it says that the Waiting Room of life to be a good place to be.

I don’t claim to completely understand this, I just know that it says this.  It promises that GOOD THINGS come to those who WAIT.  “The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,” it says in Lamentations 3:25.  The Lord saves, exalts, honors, and does not disappoint those who…wait for it, now…to those who WAIT upon Him.

The first thing that we learn is that WAITING upon the Lord is a good thing.  And the second thing that we learn is that WAITING upon the Lord is always a hard thing.

Psalm 27:14 says it like this:

Wait for the Lord; Be strong and courageous.  Yes wait for the Lord.

We might be tempted to believe that it’s only people like us, living in a 4G world who hate the wait – but it’s not true.  In every culture and every generation, people have hated the WAIT.  But look at Psalm 27:14 again.  It is ones marked by strength and courage who have the patience to WAIT.  It takes uncommon strength to keep the faith in the Waiting Room, in the face of the worst but still expecting the best.  It takes uncommon courage to hold on to hope in the Waiting Room, knowing that bad is a possibility but good is God’s promise.  People like this are neither passive nor weak, they just have faith.  You can tell the difference because they don’t flail about while they WAIT.