Lessons from a Waiting Room

Lessons from a Waiting Room


"Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD." Psalm 27:14 NLT

Important lessons can be learned in waiting rooms.

My wife and I have been frequent flyers at the local emergency room lately. We visited for my wife because of unexpected fluid gain and abdominal pain. Her last visit led to a brief stay in the hospital. My visit was due to a minor bleeding issue.

Although we learned some lessons from waiting in the emergency room, both of us agree we are sick of going there. But I don't have to visit an emergency room or even a doctor's office to experience the benefits of waiting. Life is filled with waiting rooms of various sorts. It was when the psalmist wrote the above words.

In life's waiting rooms, I've learned things don't often happen as quickly as I wish. This predicament develops what the psalmist calls patience-a worthy virtue but not one that's always enjoyable to develop. A typical emergency room stay in our small town is four hours. As much as one hour in the waiting room itself and then three more waiting on doctors and nurses to do what they are going to do.

Waiting rooms have taught me life is unfair. When I see people who don't have and can't afford insurance. When I see people who've been abused by others or who've had crimes committed against them. And when I see people addicted to drugs who are making a visit to get a pain fix. Or when I see bodies mangled by wrecks.

Waiting rooms develop compassion in me. When I see and hear about the various conditions that bring people in for emergency care, my heart reaches out to them. I wish I could intervene. I thank God for His grace that has kept me from being in a similar situation.

In the waiting room, I learn unfortunate situations often get better. Yes, some die in the emergency room, but many more are tended to in a way that eventually leads to their healing. Trials have an end, and God determines it.

Waiting rooms also remind me I affect only a few of my life events. God, however, controls them all, and I must trust Him with the trial, the length of the trial, and the outcome.

When life puts you in the waiting room, take time to learn important life lessons.

Martin Wiles Hodges, South Carolina, USA

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