Wednesday, April 23, 2008

In God’s Waiting Room

As a pilgrim who is on his way home, I sometimes feel like an immigrant sitting in the waiting room. For a number of years I have known that God had a new direction for my life. Often I’ve been impatient for Him to reveal this new path to me. I’ve often told others that it’s like being in the waiting room in the doctor’s office. Waiting to be called into the examining room.

At first the waiting is OK and you flip through a few old magazines. But as time goes on you get tired of the old magazines and you’ve read through the kids’ books. The other patients seem to be coming and going but there you wait. Eventually your frustration gets the better of you and you go up to the window and check to make sure that your name is still on the list and that they haven’t bypassed you. You start hanging out at the admittance window asking about the delay. There are other sick and broken people who seem to be getting help but there you sit broken and feeling alone.

Ever been there?

I have been there with medical doctors and for the last couple of years with the Great Physician, too. It seems that I’ve hung around the waiting room hoping to get a chance to hear the prognosis for my heavenly doctor and not seeing the opportunity I’ve been given to observe the human condition all around me. I wonder how many times I’ve missed the opportunity to do triage in the waiting room while I waited my turn.

Perhaps I’ve missed some real blessings to be the horizontal incarnation of the Great Physician and Good Shepherd while I “waited” on His time and for His plan. Maybe I missed some great opportunities to serve. Recently I was in having some cloths altered at a men’s clothing shop and I had the opportunity to triage a store manager who asked about what I did and after she found out asked me to help her learn what truth is and where she could find it. I would have missed that opportunity if I had left God’s waiting room. A couple of week later I ran into her and found out she had purchased one of the books I had recommended and was reading it. She also asked me to suggest other books for her to read.

2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. James 1:2-5 (NIV)

3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; Romans 5:3 (NIV)

7 Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Psalms 37:7 (NIV)

These are all great verses; the problem is that we often have a hard time living what we know.
I’m still in God’s waiting room but I’ve moved up the list a bit. I know not only what God wants me to do, I also know where He wants me to serve. Now I’m just waiting for the God’s time.
So I’m now the official pastor-in-waiting for the Grace Community Baptist Church in Trenton IL. I’ll be starting my “official duties” August 1, 2008.

If I’ve learned anything from this past waiting period, it’s that I’m moving from the front of one queue to the back of the next one. God’s not done with me yet but I’m becoming closer to what he wants me to be.

How about you?

How’s your waiting game??

Dr. Val

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