A Day in the Waiting Room
My husband went in for shoulder surgery a few days ago. We've spent a lot of time in the hospital with my grandson over the past year. I have a tote bag that I've packed many times to get me through a long day of waiting. After all that's happened, I know how to pass the time.
We arrived at 6:30 and I look for a place in the waiting room that is situated near a plug. From experience, I know that midway through the day I'll need to charge my phone and Kindle. The non-experienced waiters will cast envious glances at my charging capabilities, but I learned the hard way. I also brought two new magazines to avoid trying to entertain myself with the wrinkled, month's old copies of People that are usually in every waiting room. I've got mints, change for vending machines, a notepad and a pen. I'm prepared.
Just as I settle myself, a young man and his father arrive and sit near me. The father, Jeff, is in a wheelchair with his leg obviously damaged. I start to chat with them and learn that he was in a motorcycle accident and he's there to get rods and plates put into his leg.
Almost immediately, the Lord impressed on my heart to pray with Jeff. I paused and considered this. The waiting room was very full and it was unlikely I'd be able to pray with him without drawing attention to us. Personally, I don't mind publicly praying, but I didn't want to embarrass this man. I decided to keep talking with him and see if the opportunity to pray might present itself.
More than an hour went by. I totally forgot about my bag of activities and focused on continuing the conversation and waiting for the chance to pray with Jeff. I tried to steer the conversation in that direction but nothing felt natural. Finally, they called him back for his turn and I watched him go. I felt sad and worried that I'd missed the chance. I was certain God wanted me to pray for Jeff and yet, I watched him being wheeled away, feeling like I'd failed.
I sat talking to God and apologizing. I didn't know how I could have changed the outcome without a really awkward moment for all of us. I kept praying; I'm so sorry Lord.
A short time later I had to go into the recovery area to see my husband. It's a large room with about 50 beds. I spent a little time with my husband and then went back to the waiting room. I was almost to the door when I saw Jeff's son standing near a bed. Jeff! I paused by his bed. "Are you just about to go into surgery?"
A nurse smiled and said, "We are just about to take him. Do you want to say goodbye?"
Jeff and I both laughed. He reached out to me and without thinking, I took his hand and kissed his cheek. "We just met but I'm happy to send you off." I squeezed his hand. "Is it OK if I pray with you?" He nodded and I spent a few moments asking the Lord to guide the surgeon's hands, for no complications, no infection, and that he'd heal quickly. I felt the Holy Spirit surging through my hands and a wave of tremendous peace came over both of us. It was powerful!
I walked away knowing that I'd just come from an appointment that God had set up. I hope Jeff was impacted and that his surgery and healing went well. Later, I pondered it all. To me, the biggest lesson was simply to be obedient. As soon as I felt the leading to pray for Jeff, I decided in my heart to do it. Then I spent nearly two hours waiting and thinking about the task. I focused on it but didn't force things. God, in His perfect timing, provided the way.
If God has asked you to do something, decide in your heart that you will be obedient. Focus on the task and wait for the Lord to show you the perfect timing. He won't ask you to do something and then fail to provide the way.