The Waiting Room
by Allen Scott
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The Waiting Room
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up on wings as eagles; Isaiah 40:31
It was early on a cold, damp morning when I had to make a trip to the hospital waiting room. I had been sick for several hours prior, and had hoped that a trip to the emergency room would not be necessary. I was wrong. The nausea and vomiting would not ease up. The diarrhea and cold sweats indicated medical attention was required. So off I went to the waiting room.
A hospital waiting room can be a hard place to endure when you are not feeling well. Upon entering the waiting room you are asked questions as to your name, address, sickness, allergies, and other personal information before you can even be considered for treatment Unless you are brought in by ambulance in a life threatening situation you must pass through the waiting room to wait, and wait, and wait some more. It can be a very lonely and foreboding place.
Constant waiting, when not feeling well, can be difficult to take. You are within feet of help and yet help seems so far away. You start to look around at others and try to rationalize whose illness or disease is less important than your own. You start to compare others and their situations with your own. The law of self preservation kicks in and you start to think that your needs are more important than others. You feel that your wait should be lessened by your perceived need for immediate attention.
We all can become selfish when faced with discomfort and distress. The desire to be cured of the discomfort pushes itself to the forefront of our thought processes and the waiting room is where all these emotions manifest. When we observe the actions, and reactions of those in the waiting room we can determine what level of acceptance a person has reached. There are those whom you would not think were sick at all from their calm, demeanor and, in contrast, you can readily see those who have not yet found comfort in their distress. They seem anxious and unhinged by the waiting process. Those who have seen the inside of the waiting room more than others offer up an experienced air about themselves. They have this reassurance that help is just moments away and there is nothing to fear or dread.
First timers to the waiting room are not as calm, cool, and collected as the more seasoned veterans. Proving once again that experience is the best teacher. I have to admit that I do not handle pain well at all. I am a baby when it comes to being sick. I do not like being sick! I feel so helpless when I am sick and I appreciate those who deal with us babies when it comes time to treat us. I have a great deal of respect for those in the medical profession. People who help people is a noble profession and one I greatly admire. I do not know if I would have the patience and gentleness to deal with people like myself when it comes time to treat them for being sick.
Trying to maintain a sense of composure when you are not feeling yourself in front of several people who are watching your every move is not easy. You have to check your pride at the door of the emergency room and forget about looking your best when entering the waiting room. You would not be there if you were your best. We come to the waiting room through the same door, the one marked emergency entrance. Some of us are wheeled in, some are carried in, some limp in, some enter reluctantly but all enter through the same door. We all must face the same security personnel and intake nurse who asks us questions for what seems like hours to determine the nature of our emergency.
To a sick person any time of awaiting a cure to their predicament seems too long.
What is taking so long? Why canít they see me now? I wonder who they are working on that they can not see me? Could it be that someone is dying in the other room and I am just being selfish? Well I guess I could be worse off considering some of the other people sitting here. Help is only a few feet away. I am closer now to the cure than I was before I came.
Thoughts race through our minds as we sit and ponder what the answer to our situation may be. Could it be I have something deadly? Are they going to be able to help me or am I going to be sick for a long time? Am I really that sick? Perhaps I should just go back home? Back and forth we go in our minds until we settle on enduring the wait. However long it takes I am going to have to stay here until someone has time to help me.
>ĒThose who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.
Matt 9:12 (ESV)
How many times in our spiritual lives do we find ourselves in the waiting room, waiting for God to answer our prayers? When faced with lifeís challenges sooner or later we find ourselves in a place where help is needed from someone who has a cure for what ails us. When we first come to the realization that we are in need of a physician we race as fast as we can to get to the doctor to get cured. When we are sick we do not hesitate to call on a remedy. With the availability of drug stores we sometimes attempt to heal ourselves. It is only when the self medication does not work that we start to look for professional help.
Unlike the doctors office Godís help is free. All we have to do is ask and then WAIT for Him to respond. Sometimes His answer is not what we want to hear but it surely will be the cure to our situation if we can only stomach it. Sometimes the medicine we have to take tastes awful but it brings about the needed relief sought for.
I have to admit that I am not one for taking pills and medicine. But there have been times in my recent past where I begged for drugs to ease the discomfort I found myself in. I guess the degree of discomfort determines our willingness to take our medicine. If we feel there is an easier way or some other remedy then we refuse to accept the advice of the doctor and not take our medicine. This shows stubbornness and foolish pride to think that our way is better than the way prescribed by the professional healer.
Who am I to think that I know what is best? I was unable to find a cure before coming to the waiting room, why do I think I have one now? But many go through life trying to avoid the advice of the Great Physician only to continue to suffer in their distress until such a time as they surrender their pride and accept His offer of help.
The waiting room can be a life long ordeal or we can get in and out quickly. It all depends on the nature of our visit and what is required to effect the cure.
It is never fun to wait for an answer but it is necessary for life. There are many times we must wait on doctors and there may be many times in our life we must wait on God but I can assure you from experience the end result is worth the wait.
Do not grow weary in Godís waiting room for He will come and not tarry with the cure to all that besets you. All we have to do is wait.
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Love the way you compare a hospital waiting room to waiting on God. Great write!
Thank you Marcia