Windows with bright sunlight reflecting off the softly colored walls, fresh, fragrant flowers, table top fountains bubbling with soothing sounds, captivating music, bottles of complimentary water or freshly brewed tea or coffee, numerous current periodicals, televisions viewing current inspiring programs and warm, welcoming staff-could any environment be more hospitable? What if you were welcomed to a room void of windows, any sound except for voices among those also waiting, drab walls without a single painting or picture and disinterested staff?
Two different waiting rooms; two different experiences. The subject of God’s “waiting room” is a common theme in devotions and sermons. Even though pastors and authors are composing examples about God’s timing in our lives, there are paths to make the “waiting” more tolerable.
If we are waiting in a beautiful room; one which is filled with friends and family, joy, rather than disappointment, the “wait” is more unobjectionable. However, if our wait for God’s time is in a barren room; one which is challenging, perplexing and filled with sorrow, the wait is more arduous.
Even though these are not physical rooms, but circumstances and times of our lives, we can accept the “wait” as a time of learning and blessing. While awaiting God’s calendar, we can seek the lesson to be learned during this wait. For every adult person, there has been a “waiting room” during our lives and perhaps there will be numerous others before our life ends.
We can complain, become angry, accuse others around us of our circumstances or accept the pause in our life and seek the consecrations of that time. Some of these delays are weeks, months or perhaps years. In some circumstances, God chooses to never remove us from the “waiting room.” It becomes permanent until death. I was in a waiting room for over four decades, always hoping, praying and believing. Then God removed me from His first waiting room to place me in another; now over eight years.
I’ve realized that no amount of pleading with God, crying out to Him in emotional and/or physical tears releases me from His desire to keep me in the “room” He has set aside for me. Sometimes we feel His “waiting room” is unfair and certainly far too lengthy for our desires. Even though we may have never been imprisoned in a physical jail, there are times the “waiting room” feels as constricting and offensive as though we were behind corporal bars.
When we learn to adopt this as a time for growth, increased understanding and grace the waiting room becomes a gift. I will be the first to admit, it isn’t undemanding. It is quite demanding. It necessitates our acquiescence during this time of waiting; whether in a beautiful room or one which is appalling. When God opens the door and frees us; there will be nothing but beauty awaiting.
Isaiah 40:31 NKJ, “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”