“Please have a seat in the waiting room, someone will be with you shortly,” replied the receptionist at the check-in desk. My husband and I went to sit down in the waiting room as directed. As we sat on the industrial chairs, I started to look around at my surroundings. I hadn’t eaten in almost a day and hadn’t consumed fluids in over 18 hours. I think I would have just been sick if only I had the energy at this point to even get sick. We may have only waited for almost an hour but it felt like days.
Between the TV and the murmur of conversations, the waiting room was quiet but noisy at the same time. My husband worked quietly with his computer balanced on his lap while I just sat there looking at the people around me, unable to concentrate on anything, not even on social media. My mind started to whirl with the “what ifs,” the anxiety of waiting, not knowing for certain what was behind door number two, much less door number one. I started questioning whether I would have the strength for this test. I just wanted to lie down and be held in the arms of Jesus.
One Tool We Always Have: Prayer
My husband looked up from his work to make small talk with me, asking if I was okay and rubbing my back trying to comfort me. Have you ever been there, in the waiting room? Maybe it’s a real waiting room, maybe it’s a figurative one, but all the same, you are waiting for an answered prayer.
When we are in the waiting rooms of life, God is sitting there with us. He is sitting there while we grumble that He is being slow in answering our prayers, and He is there when we are begging Him to answer our prayers. Bargaining with whatever we can grasp onto.
As the nurse came to get me and started walking me back to the procedure room, she walked me through the different things that would happen. She went through everything step by step. I couldn’t focus at the time even though I tried to pay attention to what she was saying.
Finding God In the Waiting Room
Finally, when it was time to start the procedure, she said to put my head down like you are praying. Prayer… I grasped that concept. That was about the only thing that I could wrap my head around at the time. Prayer.
I started praying, “Papa, I don’t feel good and I am too weak. Please, Lord, I know you are strong, You are my strength and my song. Help me Lord, I don’t want to do this procedure but I know we need it for the doctors to figure out what’s wrong. Hold me, Papa, don’t let me go. Thank you for this sweet nurse who reminded me to pray.”
The nurse’s voice broke my thoughts in time for me to hear her tell me to breathe in like smelling roses. I thought it was more like breathing in Jesus’ strength and exhaling the anxiety. Deep breaths, Brianna. Breathe in Jesus, exhale the hurt. Breathe in Jesus, exhale the pain. Breathe in Jesus, exhale the negativity.
The test lasted over an hour, but once I was able to focus on breathing Jesus in and exhaling the discomforts, and negative things the procedure went by quicker. I felt stronger the more I focused on this breathing technique.
Once we were finally done the nurse walked me back out to my husband. She looked at my husband and told him that I had done great and that the doctor would have the results to me in ten to fourteen days. I haven’t consumed food or fluids during that procedure, yet I walked out of there stronger because of our Heavenly Father. I was no longer in the literal waiting room waiting for the procedure; now I was in the mental waiting room waiting on the results. Ten to fourteen days—that is a lot of googling to figure out what’s wrong with me.
When Our Desires Don’t Align with God’s Timing
Sometimes those waiting rooms in life can be more than we can handle on our own. The waiting can seem like forever, especially when we feel like others’ prayers are being answered. God’s timing is perfect. The apostle, Simon Peter, says, “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day” (2 Peter 3:8 NIV).
We may not agree with God’s timing for things, but His ways are way better than anything we can conjure up. He is patient. Simon Peter continues in the next verse with, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9 NIV). God is never late; His timing is never off.
As humans, we wrestle with this idea more and more because we live in a society of instant gratification—Can we say, “Alexa, I need it now?” What happened to waiting on the good things? A good meal takes time to prepare and cook. Instead, we would forgo the delicious meal for an instant box of fill-in-the-blank. God’s timing is like prime rib—you can’t rush the cooking, otherwise it’s ruined. And if you speed up the cooking, it’s tough. To cook to perfection you have to slow-roast it, and life sometimes is slow-roasted. You just have to keep cooking while God’s working out the rest.
Today what are you holding on to that you need to let go of? I invite you to breathe in Jesus, exhale and let go of the negative, the pain, the hurt, and the lies, and keep breathing in Jesus while you are waiting on God and His timing. The waiting can be long but God gives us all that we need in order to endure the wait.
Maybe the wait wasn’t the problem—the result was. Here’s how to reconcile your faith when it’s taken a hit: “Why, God?” Finding Hope when Faith Is Battered – 188