A Praying Life
6/30/10 at 06:25 PM 0 Comments

Waiting

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Isaiah 40:31, Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength . . . .

Waiting. I hate waiting. And yet it seems that I do quite a bit of it. I’ve been waiting all day.

As I write, I’m sitting alone in an empty hospital cafeteria, the low murmur of CNN Headline News in the background, eating overpriced hospital food. It’s been that exciting all day.

I’m here babysitting my father. It’s nothing serious, just a series of tests about some strange symptoms. He’s not sick enough to warrant fear, but his condition is enough to warrant a day off from work, waiting for him to get out and for the doctors to conclude what is going on.

Waiting. Did I mention that I hate waiting? I do the strangest things when I’m waiting. I eat a lot; it’s a way to pass the time. I read magazines I otherwise wouldn’t be caught dead with: Better Homes and Gardens, Popular Mechanics, Seventeen, anything to pass the time. I think, too. I think about my family and why I’m here at the hospital. I’ve been blessed with a healthy family, but it seems that the hospital waiting room is never too far away. I think about life and mortality and sickness and time. It will end for all of us. Hospitals remind me of that. I also listen. I sit in the quiet of my father’s room and listen to the sounds in the hall: the nurses talking about their weekend plans, the family across the hall having a serious conversation with their doctor, the custodian, humming to herself, cleaning my father’s bathroom. I hear the PA declare a code red on the fifth floor and I’m certain that can’t be good. I hear the sounds of life and death all around me. Waiting . . . . I hate waiting.

And then it dawns on me why God is so fond of it. God says that waiting is good; he says that waiting produces strength in our relationship with him. When we’re in God’s waiting room, when we’re having to sit tight until God comes through, great things can happen. God can feed our souls. He can take from the riches of his word and from the riches of silence, and replenish us. When we’re waiting, we can think about eternal things. Our minds can ask and find answers to some pretty significant questions when we’re waiting. And, we can listen. In the wait we can listen to the musings of our souls and the quiet murmurings of God’s Spirit.

What are you waiting for? Don’t waste this time. God has you in his waiting room for a reason. Look around. Listen to what he is saying. This season may be exactly what your weary soul needs to have its strength renewed.

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