Lines of chairs, artfully laid out magazines, complimentary mediocre coffee, and rows of chairs are ready for me. Waiting rooms are strange common arenas. They work to make you feel comfortable during a disquieting experience. Their order supports people who are fully aware how little control we have in life.
Waiting is a constant reality in many kinds.
The bible refers to waiting a lot. One of my favorite passages from Psalm 40, “I waited patiently for the Lord who inclined and heard my cry.”
As I wait fully aware of the little control I have over the lives of people I love the most, I wonder what it means to wait on the Lord. What am I waiting for? Is it for a cure? Is it for a spiritual experience?
Waiting for God is not like a waiting room anticipating the outcome. The contexts of bible verses on waiting are not for an answer or a divine magical fix. Nor is waiting for the Lord spiritual feelings of confidence. Rather waiting on the Lord is to be tethered and bound to God in faith. “The Lord inclined and heard my cry.”
As I sit in this calm waiting room I have feelings going on inside that I am hiding like the perfect matching tones of grey upholstered chairs. No doubt waiting is emotionally difficult. The author of Psalm 40 felt as if he/she was in a pit, stuck in miry clay. Waiting can give us a panic feeling as awareness of all that can go wrong or imaginings of what might be surfaces. Is it enough that all God does is incline and hears our cry?
For the author of Psalm 40 God’s inclined ear brought him/her up out of the pit. As if our slight bend toward God as we wait, finds God already a faithful supportive presence with us.
Waiting for God is not like sitting in a waiting room keeping calm and doing nothing. Perhaps our bend toward God in faith will be embodied by drinking a cup of water, calling a friend, taking a little walk, reaching out to my spouse, enjoyable banter with the stranger nearby, or gratitude for nurses and doctors all while I wait. Waiting on God may be realizing that I am not doing nothing in this room, I am actually joining God’s prayer for my family by loving them.
At times I wish I was saved from having to go again to a waiting room. I am learning as I wait I am still blessed. Blessed to be conscious of God’s life cursing in us and through us and always for us. Death, pain, and grief cannot keep us from spiritual health and salvation that make a difference to us on every plane of human existence.
As you wait incline toward Light and Salvation.
With you on the journey,