Today's Scripture: Romans 8:18-27
I submit that the waiting room of a reproductive endocrinologist's office is one of the most uncomfortable places in the modern world. Not physically uncomfortable, of course. The doctor's staff does its best to make it a serene, reassuring place. The latest editions of Sports Illustrated and Real Simple are mixed with Family Circle and Parent magazines, all arranged neatly on mahogany tables. The smell of clean carpet and the glisten of modern art have a very professional feel. Usually, a carafe of freshly brewed coffee is nearby.
The discomfort is covert. Couples here often exchange glances, waiting for the receptionist to announce, "Dr. So-and-so is ready to see you now."
Those who find themselves here have usually experienced quite a bit of waiting before ever entering this waiting room – for nature to take its usual course, for the pregnancy test to turn the right color, for the correct time to try again, for blood analyses to come back from the lab, for medical supplies to arrive, for more tests to come back. Lots and lots of waiting.
Through the rigmarole of infertility treatment, I had varying success with waiting patiently on the Lord. I experienced the anger of my unfulfilled wish to bear a child and the exhilaration of the deepening relationship with my God who walks with the outsider and those in want.
To those who find themselves waiting for their child this Christmas season, hang in there. And amen.
Tara Hill (pictured with Isaiah) is a minister's spouse, a new mom, and a middle school art teacher in St. Louis, Missouri.
This 2011 Advent devotion originally appeared in the November 17 issue of Word&Way.