Oh The Waiting

The waiting room. No one likes the waiting room because no one likes to wait! It’s inconvenient. It holds us up from being productive. If it’s a doctors office, clinic or emergency room we add in that we’re not feeling well. We find ourselves surrounded by strangers…who are also inconvenienced, possibly ill and frustrated at the wait.

Earlier this year I ended up in a hospital emergency waiting room. I was really sick. The room was packed. It was 10 hours before I was able to be seen and once they made the decision to keep me I waited another 42 hours before being moved to a room. That is a lot of waiting! I didn’t have anyone with me and my phone battery was low so what could I possibly do? A person can only watch so much HGTV! So I started praying for the people around me in the waiting room. Pain relief, healing, peace, comfort. After a while I realized that despite the fact that everyone was tired and hungry and needing some sort of medical attention there was a calmness in the overcrowded waiting room.

The more I prayed for others the less time I focused on my own pain. And, the more compassion I felt for strangers who really didn’t seem like strangers anymore. I wish I could say that I make that choice every time I find myself waiting. It might not be a room we find ourselves in. It might be a situation being controlled by someone else. Perhaps a doctor’s report is keeping us waiting.

Oh the waiting! Here’s the thing: It’s not just about the waiting. It’s about what we do while we’re waiting. Do we take it to God? Do we turn to Him first or do we worry and make noise about our situation? Do we trust God? Philippians 4:6-7 says, “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication (or humble pleading), with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

We may be limited in our waiting…but we can always pray.

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