The Waiting Room

Have you ever found yourself in a seemingly never-ending Waiting Room? Are you waiting for God to heal an injury or disease? Are you waiting for the Lord to bring restoration to a broken relationship? Are you waiting for Jesus to answer your prayers for a child? Are you waiting for God to fill your longing for a husband or wife?

Waiting rooms are HARD! They are not a fun place to sit for extended periods of time. They are uncomfortable … and lonely.

Two weeks ago, Pastor Steve gave a message about The Waiting Room.  We are in a sermon series on “Brain Battles”, and Pastor Steve taught about how to “Reframe” our Waiting Rooms.  Reframing is to see a situation from a different perspective.  

His message really struck me … and I was nearly in tears by the end, thinking of the many long years that I have been sitting in a Waiting Room.  A few days later, I re-watched the message online, and took more detailed notes.

In John 11:1-6, Mary and Martha told Jesus that Lazarus was sick and dying.  Yet, Jesus did not rush right to them.  He waited 2 days to go to them.  Can you imagine being in their waiting room?  “Why isn’t Jesus coming NOW?”

Pastor Steve pointed out that:

  1. Jesus is perfectly okay with us sitting in the waiting room.

He also suggested that we might need to reframe that to say:

*  Waiting is a good thing.

This is hard for many of us.  We may acknowledge that Jesus allows us to sit in the waiting room; but to say that it is a “good thing” might be taking it a bit too far.

Some of us are in the Waiting Room … waiting for a prodigal son or daughter to return.

Some of us are in the Waiting Room … awaiting healing from a serious illness.

Some of us are in the Waiting Room … waiting for restoration of family relationships.

Some of us are in the Waiting Room … praying for friendships, fellowship, and  community.

And … none of this is fun.  Sitting in the Waiting Room can be very hard.

Pastor Steve went on to share that:

2.  The Waiting Room puts us in a powerless position.

We may be absolutely broken when we realize that there is nothing that we can do to fix our situation.

But … how can we reframe this?

*  In our weakness He is strong.

Oftentimes, it is only once we come to the full realization that there is nothing that we can do … that we turn it all over to the Lord.  Then, once we turn it over, we must wait for His timing.

The third and final aspect of the Waiting Room that Pastor Steve shared was:

3.  The Waiting Room makes our desired outcome feel impossible.

In John 11:38-44 Lazarus was dead for four days by the time Jesus arrived.  Mary and Martha thought, “How can Jesus possibly heal him now?”

This, too, can be reframed:

*  Every crisis is an opportunity for God to receive glory.

I have walked through many, many crises over the years … and have always found ways to give God the glory for His healing or restoration or wisdom.  

In 1983, my doctor told me that I had a 2% chance to ever have children, and that I needed an immediate hysterectomy.  God received the glory when I got pregnant two weeks later … and went on to have 10 babies, before adopting two daughters from Africa.

In 1991, when I had 6 children under 7 years old, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer.  God received the glory when the lemon-sized tumor was removed and the doctors discovered that God had removed the cancer from the tumor.

In 1999, I was in a car accident with 8 of my children.  We were hit by a semi truck on the freeway.  God received the glory when none of us were seriously injured (though we did have 105 doctors appointments in 5 weeks, for back and neck injuries).

In 2005, my youngest son, Elijah (age 3), was airlifted to Children’s Hospital with bacterial meningitis.  Within 12 hours, we were told to “bring the family”, as he was not expected to live through the night.  God received the glory a week later, when he miraculously came out of his coma, and then came home a week after that.

Yes.  I have seen the hand of God work miracles many, many times in my life; and I have purposed to always give Him the glory.

However … sometimes our Waiting Rooms may last a lot longer, and we may not see how or when we will ever be able to give God the glory.

How do we give God the glory when a son or daughter walks away from everything they were taught growing up? 

How do we give God the glory when family relationships are not restored?

How do we give God the glory if we struggle with an ongoing medical issue?

These waiting rooms can last for a year … or 10 years … or 20.  What then?

As I pondered this message the past week, the Lord showed me that while I had been sitting in a few Waiting Rooms for over 10 years … that I had only been seeing 2 options for outcomes.

If Option #1 happens … then I will give God the glory.

If Option #2 happens … then I will give God the glory.

This past week, God asked me, “What if neither outcome ever happens?  Will you still give Me the glory?”

The Lord told me that I cannot sit in the “If only …” or “What if … ???” rooms. I have sought the Lord for His wisdom and guidance every step of the way these past 12 years.  I heard from Him very clearly, on many occasions.  I know without a doubt that I did not “take the wrong turn”; though, of course, I did take a few steps off of the right path a few times.  

However, this week the Lord told me that I may never see Option #1 or Option #2.  I can still pray.  I can still hope.  But, I need to walk forward and not just “Sit in the Waiting Room” any longer.  It is time for me to get up and walk forward on the new journey that He has for me.  I must learn to give God the glory even if neither outcome comes to pass.

I know that Jesus allowed me to sit in the waiting room; I know that He used my time in the Waiting Room for His good and His purposes.

I know that God allowed me to be in this powerless position for all of these years; I know that He has shown me that in my weakness He is strong.

I am sad that my desired outcomes still feel impossible; but I know that He will show me how to bring glory to Him through this time in His Waiting Room.

Honestly, I am not quite ready to say, “Thank you God for all of these years that you have allowed me to sit in Your Waiting Room.” … yet, I am ready for Him to show me how I can give Him the glory before He shows me the final picture of this most difficult of journeys.

Are you sitting in a never-ending Waiting Room? I would love to come alongside you in prayer.

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