I was sharing a story to my sister-in-law the other day about one of my prayers which I’ve written in my journal many years ago about the agony of sitting in God’s waiting room. I described how I felt that moment as I write my heart out to God with my own tears leaving smudges in the pages of my journal. I was crying out to God to give me a breakthrough. I was getting tired of waiting and already feeling worn out, insecure and forgotten.
As I wrote my prayer that night, I imagined myself in a hospital waiting room where the nurse would come out with a piece of paper that has each patient’s medical record tucked in a clipboard then one after the other she calls out our names and we enter another door where the doctor sits to see us. However, in this case, the rule ‘First come, First served’ doesn’t apply because the doctor decides who he is going to see next.
So there I was, sitting together with all the other patients and then the next thing I knew even those that have come after me have been called except me. Then I start to wonder if the doctor still got my name on the list and anxious to find out whether my name might have been thrown out somewhere or buried under the piles of paper. Or worst, he might have forgotten about me at all – this thought actually made me cry.
I wrote down, “God, do you still hear me? Do you know that I am still outside your door waiting for my name to be called? Is my name still written in your record? Do you remember me? My name is Ophelia. I am your daughter and I am still here. How long will I have wait here till you call my name? Please Lord, hear me.”
Then after those words were scribbles covered with blot of ink that smudged from my own tears.
I know, you might say that God isn’t like that. “God is faithful. God is merciful. Those who put their trust in the Lord will never be disappointed.” You can throw me all these wonderful bible verses about God and waiting. But when you are actually sitting in the waiting room, the temptation to take matters into your own hands is so difficult to resist. To be still – as God commands us to do when in this season – becomes the most difficult thing to do. It requires a tremendous amount of faith, strength, self-control and endurance. And when your enemy throws every distraction and opportunity to get you out of your ‘standing still’ position – it is tough. It could suck the joy out of you and all faith that you have stored up within you over the years gets thrown out the window.
After my sister-in-law and I finished talking that night, the memory of that prayer lingered on in my head as I fall asleep. Then at 3am, I was awaken by a sweet nudge from the Holy Spirit. As I prayed, God spoke to my heart as He recalled to me my conversation with Him about ‘the waiting room’.
He said to me in a still small voice, “Ophelia, My door was never closed. In fact, I have always kept it open for you. I was the one waiting for you to take that bold step to come inside and see Me. I have been waiting for you all these years to get inside My will so I could shower you with My love and enjoy My presence. I love you and I have not forgotten about you. See, I have engraved your name on the palms of my hands.”
I cried as these words echo in my head.
Indeed, that was all true. God was the one waiting for me. I was outside His will most of the time. The waiting became an agony simply because I was seeking for what was in His hands when God wants me to seek His face more than anything in this world – to be content in His presence. And this is the kind of breakthrough He wants to give all of us.