Written by monthly contributor, Natalie Didlake.
Sometimes I’m in the spiritual dumps.
Sometimes I’m a lousy mom.
Sometimes I am tired of living in a place I don’t think I belong.
Sometimes someone I love dies.
Sometimes I have a habitual sin I don’t understand and can’t conquer.
Sometimes my relationships are in shambles, and I can’t see how to help them along.
Sometimes I am too depressed and discouraged to go to bed; the next day isn’t much improved by a sleepless night.
Sometimes my day-to-day life feels aimless and purposeless.
If I ever tell you I’m having one of those “sometimes,” don’t tell me to be thankful for what I have. Don’t remind me to remember all the good things God has already done for me. Don’t tell me to enjoy the little things, or cultivate gratitude.
Because it won’t help.
When I’m full of angst, deep questions, and frustrations, they can’t be swept aside and replaced. Problems and sin cannot be amended by attempts at thankfulness.
Problems and sin can only be amended by crying out to God. Sometimes He takes his time….a long time. Even the waiting can be painful and frustrating, a grief in itself. Trying to be thankful doesn’t even give me the bit of comfort I so crave, especially in that “waiting room.”
In the Waiting Room
As in, the doctor’s waiting room. I remember as a child being miserably sick, sitting there in a grimy, hard plastic chair, in a public place. Oh, for the quiet of your own room, instead of noisy children and the whine of a soap opera in the background. The temp was always 10 degrees below comfortable, so your teeth chatter while you imagine snuggling under a blanket on the couch. You just feel awful, and sit there.
But you have to, in order to see the doctor. Which, of course, you want to do, because that’s where you hope to find some relief.
And then, I remember the nurse coming through a heavy swinging door, calling my name. She’d meet your eyes, nod, and say, “The doctor will be with you in just a few minutes.” Oh, for joy! The long wait is almost over.
Sometimes we are in the waiting room, and we so desperately need someone to pop their head through the door to remind us the wait’s almost over. Sometimes we can’t push a trouble aside, but we can be eased and comforted in the midst of it by remembering the “doctor” will see us soon.
When my soul is in that waiting room of unfinished business, I love this precious promise God gives me in Philippians. He sweetly pops through the door to remind me he is still working in me and has not forgotten about me:
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Phil 1:6
A simple, small verse. But it always gives me the strength I need to sit and wait a little longer. My God is the Great Healing Doctor, and he made our appointment. He knows what is wrong with me, and as long as I follow his prescription, I will get well!
And for that, I am always…yes, thankful. Truly, deeply, thankful. I can be sure God will finish the work he started in me. Thankful, dare I say happy? Even in the waiting room.