The Waiting Room

The waiting room at Mayo Clinic is large.   Many people are hoping for help, for good news, not bad news.    I was there with Nick and Debbie and baby Ethan, waiting for Nick to get the results of his liver tests and procedure.  The news was not good—he needed to go on the transplant list soon.  That was not what we wanted to hear.I am not fond of waiting rooms, especially medical ones.   So often I am waiting for some unpleasant procedure, or to hear good or bad news about myself or a loved one.  Other waiting rooms might include for a job interview, or approval of a loan or a scholarship, or the principal’s office or the police station.   Waiting means uncertainty, anxiety, possibly unpleasant outcomes.I'm sure, however, that one of God's favorite words is wait, and one of His favorite places for me is the waiting room.Psalm 27:14: "Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord."Almost no one likes waiting. Especially in fast-paced, have-it-all-now cultures. And especially for those of us who like to be in control, to have things our way.   But life in general is a lesson is waiting. For me that has been so true. I think the phrases I hear most from the Lord are "I love you," "I forgive you," and, "Wait."There have been so many "waiting rooms" in my life: for direction from God, to get married, to have children, to figure out my life after I had children, for financial needs, through various challenging stages with my children, through my dad's illness and death, to see what God has planned for my children...One long-term waiting room has been for our son  to truly surrender to the Lord. This has been a long, hard journey. Waiting seems to imply patience, but for me it is more like perseverance.   He is on a better path now, but I would like it to move along more quickly.The waiting with Nick has changed.  His last visit to Mayo brought good news—surprising improvement in his liver and probably a year before his next visit.  The condition has such ups and downs, but we are glad for a good report for now.Recently God has given me some clues on how to wait. The key is in applying the exhortations/commands in I Thessalonians 5:16-18 and Philippians 4:4-8.God isn't kidding when He tells us to rejoice always, pray about everything, give thanks in all things, and to think on praiseworthy things. This does not come naturally.   But when I make the choice to come to the Lord honestly, to express my feelings and my fears, and then to say thank you and praise Him, amazing things begin to happen:My attitude changes. My fear, despair, impatience lessen. I begin to truly rejoice. Hope returns.And God has an open door to do the good He desires to do. Above and beyond what I can ask or think or imagine.The word wait in Scripture usually has a connotation of "with expectancy,” even "with hope."   When we wait on the Lord with praise, thanksgiving and rejoicing, our waiting turns into anticipation--of what great good our great God is going to do!So I encourage you:  Wait on the Lord and expect something incredible!c Judy Douglass 2011