God’s Waiting Room
I’ll never forget the day my friend called me “the mother of dreams.” We were talking on the phone at that time. I was discouraged; she was cheering me up. She meant it in a special way, as if I was the mother of her dreams, a prayer warrior, faithful and kind. Yet I, knowing myself as I do, struggling at times to just keep my sanity, heard it as what I truly am, a “mother who dreams.”
I dream of the day when my daughter will be whole and not have to depend on illegal drugs to get through the day. I dream of sanity in our lives instead of chaos. I dream of peace and right standing with God for all my children and grandchildren. I dream of testimonies given of overcoming by God’s grace and the mercy He lavishes upon us each day. I dream of happiness, wholeness and health. I dream of restored relationships. I dream of learning to go down a different path and being happy to stay on it, instead of falling in the dark pits of familiarity. And I dream of the day that all my children will be taught of the Lord, and great will be the peace of my children.
“Then you will know that I am the LORD those who hope in me will not be disappointed."
Yet amidst these dreams, as we are waiting, we often feel disappointed. Is it wrong to feel disappointed with God? Philip Yancey wrote a whole book on the subject. “Disappointment With God,” tells many stories of real people going through literal “hell on earth” and realistically examines their plights and questions. I would recommend this book and also his book “Searching For an Invisible God,” if you have ever felt like you don’t understand the ways of the Lord.
What I want to do now is to remind us to hope in God. I have started researching the word “hope” as found in the Bible. If you are in “God’s Waiting Room” you are probably in need of encouragement, and the word of God is the greatest encouragement I know of. Even a study on the book of Job will bring hope when we see the restoration at the end.
But so many of us in “God’s waiting room” may feel as though we have been forgotten, as so often happens at a doctor’s office. We may see people who came in after us, go in first, or when we finally get in to the inner examining room we still find ourselves waiting. We have been stripped down, perhaps cold and frightened about what the doctor is going to say or do, and worrying. I don’t know about you, but I find that a very frustrating experience.
For the Christian there are no guarantees on the outcome of a situation. As noted in Hebrews 11 the great faith chapter we don’t all see the conclusion of the things God has planted in our hearts. But we can still look with hope for the promise.
The book of Hebrews starts off with hope:
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. Hebrews 11:1
Yet even as I speak this word of encouragement I know that many of you have lost hope in your child, in your life even in your future. It is hard to hope in what you cannot see. But just take it a step at a time, a day at a time, even a moment at a time. Pray for the strength to just do the next thing that needs to be done. It may have nothing to do with the child that has gone astray. The next thing you may need to do is learn to take care of yourself. Maybe you have beat yourself up with guilt over the things you think you should’ve done or could’ve done that you are walking weary and wounded. Learn to be good to yourself. Treat yourself well. The commandment about loving your neighbor as you love yourself---you would be kind to a neighbor, so kindly take care of yourself and those that are right before you.
There are some of you in whom the Lord would say, “the world was not worthy of them.” He would say to you that He has seen your walk of faith through the pain of living in this world. He knows you are not perfect in your endeavors but He knows you have tried. He knows you love your child, and you, His child, are loved by Him with an everlasting love. He sees the big picture that we cannot see. He loves your child more than you can ever imagine, although as a parent yourself, you feel that no one could match the love you feel. He will draw a hurting parent close. He does not forget your labor of love towards your child and to Him your heavenly Father. The sacrifice of praise while we are in God’s waiting room is of great value to Him. You cannot change anyone but yourself. And only God can change a heart bent on going its own way.
Donna Collins Tinsley
If it costs you nothing, it's worth nothing! Endurance is the price tag of achievement. Listen, "We pray that you'll have the strength...not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the...strength God gives...that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy" (Col 1:11 The Message).