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Ann Farabee: In the waiting room

In the waiting room?

Sometimes, a wait in the hospital ‘waiting room’ isn’t too bad – like when waiting for a new baby or for a loved one’s ‘simple’ surgery to end, but quite often the ‘waiting room’ can be a very difficult place. I have become quite the expert in this area, so here are some tips to improve your ‘waiting room’ experience:

*Sometimes, you may have to leave your loved one’s hospital room and go to a waiting room. There, you can allow your tears to flow more freely. This is when others will hug you, comfort you, pray for you, or just know to let you have a few minutes alone.

*Coffee and water is always available. If the coffee pot gets empty, someone will make more.

*There are baskets filled with snacks and magazines, often brought by members of local churches. And… Bibles brought by Gideons.

*Exhausted? Pull two chairs together. Ask someone for pillows and blankets. Voila! You have a bed. ‘Chair sleeping’ can be a bit awkward, so someone will try to convince you to go home and rest, while they take your place in the ‘waiting room’ for a few hours. Take them up on the offer.

*If it gets cold, ask for a heated blanket. There always seems to be a compassionate person that will find you one.

*You may notice others waiting, too. Sharing ‘waiting room’ time is precious, since you can be there for each other.

*People on the hospital staff may stop by to update you. It makes you feel that people care… and they do!

Did this ‘waiting room’ sound familiar? Ever been there? It is so similar to the ‘waiting rooms’ of life – where we spend much of our time. Situations or circumstances need to change. Answers need to come. We pray. We wait.

Matthew 25:35-40 says: “When I was hungry, you gave me meat. When I was thirsty, you gave me drink. I was a stranger and you took me in. I was naked and you clothed me. I was sick and you visited me. I was in prison and you came to me. I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these, you have done it unto me.”

God always puts people in our path to help in times of waiting. They may provide nourishment for us – maybe a basket with food. Maybe they nourish us by sharing God’s Word. They give us drink – like coffee or water – or maybe they guide us to the water of life, so we will never thirst again. They clothe us – sometimes by covering us with a warm blanket – or speaking warm words to strengthen us. They know our waiting is excruciating – and they support us by their presence and prayers. Sometimes, we feel trapped – as if in prison – during that ‘waiting room’ experience – but God always sends comfort our way – often through others, wanting to help bear our burdens.

No, the ‘waiting room’ is not always a happy place, but it does not have to be a lonely place. Sometimes, when we are in the ‘waiting room’ and are hurting, we may not even share with others that we are in that season of waiting. People cannot read our minds, so we need to ask for support. How can they know to help us, if they don’t know our need?

Oh, what amazing things I have learned in my ‘waiting room’ experiences! Giving and receiving! Loving and being loved! Serving and being served! Trusting God! Resting in His Promises! (Just to name a few!)

Aren’t you thankful for the ‘Matthew 25:35-40’ people in your life? They are always there when we endure difficult ‘waiting room’ experiences. They help us through what is often the hardest – but yet can be the sweetest – times of our lives. They help us to be ‘better’ instead of ‘bitter.’ Their love and guidance helps the circumstance to become one that ‘makes us’ instead of one that ‘breaks us.’

And for those in the middle of a ‘waiting room’ experience, here is a verse to enjoy as you wait: Psalm 27:14 – Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.

I’m waiting, Lord. I trust You.

Ann Farabee, writer, teacher, and speaker, has taught in Kannapolis City Schools and Mooresville Schools. Contct her at annfarabee@gmail.com or visit  annfarabee.com


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