Devotions from Psalms Series: Lessons from a Waiting Room

Lessons from a waiting room can be intriguing.

My wife and I were once frequent flyers at the local emergency room. My wife’s visit related to fluid retention and abdominal pain. One visit even required a brief hospital stay. My visit was due to a minor bleeding issue.

Although we learned some lessons from waiting in the emergency room, we both agreed we were 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, “Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord” (Psalm 27:14 NLT).

  • In life’s waiting rooms, things rarely happen as quickly as we wish.

This predicament develops what the psalmist calls patience—a worthy virtue but not quickly developed. A typical emergency room stay in our small town is four to six hours—as much as four hours in the waiting room and one more in the patient room, waiting on doctors and nurses.

  • Waiting rooms teach that 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 visit to get a pain fix. Or when I see bodies mangled by wrecks.

  • Waiting rooms help develop compassion.

When I 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, unfortunate situations often get better.

Yes, some die in the emergency room, but many more are healed. Trials have an end, and God determines it.

  • Waiting rooms remind us we affect few life events.

God, however, controls them all. Therefore, I must trust him with the trial, the length of the test, and the outcome.

When life puts you in the waiting room, learn the essential life lessons.

Photo by Landis Brown on Unsplash

Martin Wiles
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