Most of us have experienced sitting in a waiting room to see a doctor or dentist. Perhaps a lawyer or minister. One thing we can all agree upon: the experience isn’t pleasant. The chairs are uncomfortable, the magazines out of date, the wait much too long. Sometimes the rooms have interesting features like an aquarium or TV screen with a distracting show. One thing these rooms have in common is we are barred from the “holy of holies”—the place behind the barrier of doors, monitored by what feels like armed guards.
The last time John and I went to see a doctor, I couldn’t help but notice the demeanor of our fellow wait-ers. Many stared ahead, avoiding eye contact. Some spoke in hushed tones. Others clutched the hand of their loved one, apprehension marking their faces.
Over the years, I’ve heard people talk about “being in God’s waiting room.” They describe their anxiety as they mentally pace. They wring their hands as they stare at the barrier, wondering if or when God will “open the door” and answer their prayers.
Hoping that exercise would bring me comfort, I recently pictured myself in God’s waiting room. Surely He knows I am there. He knows the prayers that press against my heart. In patience I rest and wait. I was just getting comfortable with this imaginary scene when a thought struck me. Um…hold it. Isn’t there a Bible verse that says I can approach God’s throne of grace with confidence*? Then why in the world am I in the waiting room?
Without fear, I push open the barriers and march into the inner room. High and exalted, God sits on a throne with His robe filling the temple^. I mount the steps, take a tremulous breath and crumple at His feet. Leaning my head against my Father’s knee, I pour out all my anxieties.
I don’t need to wait for an appointment. I don’t have to sit outside until some angelic messenger ushers me into God’s presence. I can approach Him at any time, day or night. My Father waits for me…so that He can lavish mercy and grace to help me in my time of need. Praise God.
*Hebrews 4:16 ^Isaiah 6:1