Waiting rooms. No one wants to be there. Strangers are collectively placed in the same holding cell waiting to be seen. To be heard. To be diagnosed. To get news. The avoidance of showing up in this place can be seen hours earlier with intense google searches. Phone calls made to friends asking their opinion and their diagnosis of what we are dealing with.
Why do we do this? We google things and imagine crazy things based upon the most bizarre, grossest symptoms described in our search for answers. Convincing ourselves that we might have this illness described. Anxiety kicks in as we think, “What could I have contracted? As if Google was God.
We do the same thing spiritually, googling through the rolodex of our mind we start self-diagnosing the dis-eased condition of our soul.. Flipping through index cards in our mind collecting a self diagnosis that’s a sure disaster for our peace of mind.
But wait.. God calls us into His waiting room so He can show us,us.
The Purpose of Our Waiting Room Experience
Spiritually speaking we go to waiting rooms to meet ourselves. These spiritual waiting rooms are just as vulnerable as when we go to the doctor and have to disrobe. It would be easy to say during these times we feel shelved, dismissed or forgotten but I would say as vulnerable as it feels, we are actually being delicately held. Held and cradled by the one who can calm us enough to show us ourselves.
Held by the one who keeps us, while we try and escape the waiting.We try and escape spiritual diagnosis. I often have a sneaky suspicion we are afraid to know. Truth scares because that light and love uncovers the hidden places. It shouldn’t scare us but it does. Truth simply, yet very intricately frees us because truth is a person.. And that person is love and light in the freedom of Jesus.
The Power of Spiritual Isolation
Spiritual isolation has benefits to quiet our souls so that we may hear. To hear what’s heard under the clatter of the noise. The noise of rumbling distractions keep my soul from being at rest, keeping all of us from being in the now. Being in the present.
When I don’t want to wait I am prone to wander. To wander like a sheep gone astray, to wander in my mind and waltz right into rooms of discouragement and distracting things. Numbing things. Right then and there I start noticing everything I dislike about spiritual waiting rooms. Germs. Germs and more germs. Spiritual germs that are toxic to our soul. Wrong thinking and wrong appetites. Thinking that numbs, and appetites that stuff.
To top it off I begin to think about not only why I am there but what I may brush up against. Isn’t this what we try to avoid spiritually..
The brush against? Ugh. The discomfort of climbing into that spiritual chair of discomfort and sitting. Sitting with the hurt. Sitting with the lack of understanding. Sitting with a million unanswered questions of all my why’s?
Waiting through the tears and tyranny of telling my soul to be strong, to be free, even when I have felt foul. After all, feeling foul doesn’t mean you aren’t free it means you will continue to wait even if it means you encounter ferocious waiting. God isn’t in a hurry and isn’t moved an iota by the fact that I am.
Waiting for God to move in my life has turned into me wailing for God at times. My heart has desperately wanted to escape the waiting room. Stopping the whining grows you up but doesn’t graduate you to avoid the waiting. It seems the spiritual virus of distracting ourselves is a false anecdote to what the solution is, and that solution is to be still. To hold fast. To know that He is God. That the anchor of the world is big enough to be the anchor to my soul.
The Pattern of Rhythms of Grace
My ungraceful descents in the waiting room usually are just the rhythms of life and grace. God creates a space called “Wait” un moved by my, Why? We sit a spell. We talk. We exchange words with a look, with a glance into where I am and how on earth God is gonna get me from, “Here” to wherever “There is”.
I have been preoccupied with where “There is”. Many times, missing my here and now because of my preoccupied thoughts of “where it is”.. I wondered if Abram got that way on His way to “There”? I mean, maybe He was blinded with the stars being so bright that He tucked that happy in His pocket and the blindness and glory of those stars kept a pep in his step.
I have a gut feeling that wasn’t always the case. His happy in his journey on some days may have turned to, “Hello God, remember me?”
The guy who looked at the stars and the sand saw God in them. He heard God in those stars. How do you hear God in the stars? You listen. You listen hard with your heart. Abraham did the hokey pokey and turned himself around spiritually when he needed to. That guy Abraham, our Father of faith. He directed his heart instead of his heart trying to direct him when circumstances would try and get the best of him.
Abraham Was in the Waiting Room
Abraham believed and still believes, but some days it’s seemed like an extra long journey with stars in his eyes and sand under his feet. If we could eavesdrop on Abraham’s self talk, it may sound like this. I, Abraham have chosen in my waiting room to look at the stars and the sand in my mind.
Sounds glamorous, stars in your eyes to guide you with light but get carnal and you start thinking about dry eyes and that gritty feeling with every blink. And that sand on my feet is a great exfoliant, but on some days, my feet just feel scratchy and hot.
Miles of walking turn into days and then into years. Stars and Sand.. Stars and Sand.. over and over repeating the promise of God to his heart.. They represent God. If I look up I see God’s promise and if I look down I see his promise. Let not my heart waver through weary waiting.
Never mind the coldness and quietness of this waiting room, this waiting place that has surprised me with exponential grace. Yes, the grace to wait. The grace that leads you by the longing. The longing that says, wait. The longing that says, trust. The longing that says, Let go.
Waiting in the Waiting Room
The waiting room says..
“Listen to learn. Learn to be loved so that you can love. Waiting isn’t passive, it’s a position of faith to welcome.”
It’s Your Turn
Do two things for me…
One, click the share buttons below and share with your friends.
Two, leave me a comment and tell me about your experience.
What about you? Tell me about your waiting room experience in life?
What did you learn?