Sunday, February 22, 2009

In God's Waiting Room

Sometimes when people ask us 'where are you these days?' we reply 'we are in God's waiting room'. This is not to be clever, just to state a fact. People with chronic health problems do spend a lot of time in waiting rooms - hospitals, doctors' surgeries, radiology departments, you name it and we've been there. They are such cold places - not because the central heating has broken down - but because people are feeling so nervous and often so unwell that they sit in silence (at least in the British culture) and almost dare you to say anything. The inevitable copies of yachting magazines and women's weeklys is about the only thing that breaks the monotony. It seems you wait for ages and then spend precious few minutes consulting with the person you need to see.

So why would I describe my experience as being in God's waiting room? Well, it's different there. In God's waiting room there are promises posted all around. 'Don't be afraid, I will be with you' and 'I am the Lord who heals you' are the type of thing. Then there are the warm and wonderful people who share the experience with you, people who are praying for you, who care about how you are feeling. Instead of mouldy mags there is the life-giving Word of God, and most amazing of all, there is constant free access to the top consultant Himself! The only thing that is the same, then, is the waiting.

The Bible says a lot about waiting. The Psalms are full of it. Look it up yourself and you'll find I'm right. God uses waiting not because He is overburdened with needs and cannot fit ours in, but because He wants to deal with our character and not just our condition. Who we are and not just how we are feeling is what is about to be operated upon.

So, we pray for patience to stay in God's waiting room for as long as He chooses. 'Wait, wait upon the Lord' is the choice we must make daily.