Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary." (Isaiah 40:31)
I think the waiting room is one of the hardest places to be. Waiting for a diagnosis, a cure, a phone call. Waiting for an answer to prayer, love to be returned, a loved one to come back. Always just waiting......
And while you wait it's all the what-ifs that begin to attack and take ANY peace you may have away. What if it's cancer? What if the job doesn't work out? What if he doesn't come back?
The thoughts spin around and around and quickly go from bad to worse-- with no possibility of hope.
I've found, in my experience, there are different types "waiters" too. There's the anxious, worrier that paces back and forth, works from daylight to dark, hardly sleeps, and will not stand for any kind of quiet that forces thoughts about the wait. This one has to feel in control in some way or another and will do what it takes to have control.
Then we meet the angry, pessimistic one that cannot and will not believe anything good will come from the wait. No call from the job? They hated me in the interview. Wife left? She found someone new that's better than me. Doctor wants to run extra tests? I'm going to die. No answer to prayer? God is angry with me. This one has a lot of "I'll never....".
And finally, in comes the patient, never anxious, hopeful one. This one at times can seem like a freak of nature. Wearing a smile and quoting scripture; a general feeling of calm just settles over her entire being. As a matter of fact, just sitting next to this one can be give even the biggest pessimist a little of light and warmth in their dark, lonely place. Admittedly, I long to be this type of "waiter". I think we all do.
Life is hard, and what's harder is keeping your hope and faith when hard times come. When the waiting room seems to have become your home, you get a the "might as well pull up a chair and stay awhile" feeling that doesn't go away.
Something many don't talk about in the wait is how lonely it really is. Sure, family and well-meaning friends say the right things and I'm certain a part of them really mean the words, "I'm here if you need anything." But they don't really mean 'anything'. They'll listen and try to give advice, add you to a prayer list at church, and maybe call to check on you a few times a week.
Eventually, life takes over and you're back in that waiting room all alone. The waiting room isn't a happy place like the ones in hospitals where you wait for a new baby to arrive. There're no smiles, laughter, or congratulations. No big hugs, overflowing love, or giddiness.
Instead, the waiting room is a little dark, scary and full of soul-searching. The kind of waiting that either pulls you closer to God or drags you far away. I think that is the scariest part--the not knowing, even for a moment, which way you will go.
For me, it's in those darkest moments of waiting, questioning, listening that I hear a voice. It's not a voice I hear with my ears but I feel with my heart. A voice so small, so quiet if I wasn't in the waiting room alone, I probably would not have heard it. This voice says, " I am FOR you; I am not AGAINST you." That's it, a simple stringing of 9 words in a row that make all the difference in my wait. With those words, I have a surety that no matter what comes through the door of my waiting room, He is for me. He is going to work it all together for my good (Romans 8:28).
There will still be dark nights and rainy days; ones where my soul longs for answers not yet ready to be revealed. But on those days, I will look around me in my waiting room and see Jesus sitting with a bright light all around him, arms wide open, waiting to hold me and tell me all the things He has planned for me----a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).
We have a God that: