By Claire Simmons
With seasonal allergies and sinus infections upon us, there’s no doubt you’ve found yourself in a waiting room recently. As a little girl I remember falling asleep in the chairs as soon as my mom would sign me in. I would curl up into a little ball and drift off and be startled awake when the nurse called my name. If it was a yearly visit or dentist appointment, they had all kinds of toys and things to play with. When the nurse called my name, I was less excited to go with her, but knew there was usually a lollipop or sticker waiting for me at the end of the visit. As a child, I didn’t mind waiting in the waiting room, but as an adult managing my own time, the thought of waiting in a waiting room sounds down right dreary.
Earlier this month I participated in a small ministerial class in Dallas with several other ladies. As we started the class our instructor, Diane Lane, asked us a question. ‘Why did Jesus come as a baby?’ That took me by surprise as the Christmas season has clearly come and gone! There is already Easter decorations and chocolate bunnies on the shelves! My mind, like many others in the room, was already focused on Easter lessons, not Christmas. We thought about it for a moment, and it was fascinating to hear the different reasons that were mentioned. We discussed the love in the parent-child relationship and the parallel to the relationship we have with our Heavenly Father. As an adult without children of my own, what stuck with me was reflecting over how Jesus honored every part of childhood and ‘growing up’. He didn’t skip the terrible twos or the strange pre-teen years, or the even stranger years between childhood and adulthood. He lived through them all and ministered to those around him, even as a child.
After some time of discussion and getting this small class of ladies back on-topic, Diane directed our attention to the next phrase that stood out to me. ‘Childhood is not a waiting room for life’. Even as a child, the waiting room wasn’t that bad, but I knew what was coming next was going to be better. If I had been ill, I knew good health would soon be on the way. When I was already healthy, I knew I’d be rewarded with treats. When thinking about childhood, I think the end of some phases does result in something good, like the end of the potty-training phase! But when we examine Jesus’ example and how he lived through the many phases of childhood (although I’m sure there are some Mary wouldn’t have minded skipping) and early adulthood, we are reminded to treat every day as its own special time. I often feel like I am in that dreary waiting room of what is to come next in God’s plan for my life, when instead I should be reminded that every day and every phase, has purpose. And when I do find myself waiting, It doesn’t have to keep me from waiting with joy and enjoying life just as it is today.
Claire is Children’s Minister and MDO director at Ridge Avenue Baptist Church in West Monroe, LA. When she is not investing in the lives of children Claire enjoys time with friends, crafting, and spending time with her dog Emmie.
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