God's Waiting Room
Our Space to Practice Godly Waiting Habits
Beth Hemke Shapiro
Waiting for an appointment with a doctor can be irritating, time-wasting, and downright anxiety-producing. In this handy-sized paperback, Debra Johnson uses the common experience of a waiting room as a metaphor to show how life in general is filled with stressful times of waiting. A born-again Christian, technical writer, and librarian, she suggests Bible verses, examples of prayers, and prayer writing exercises as strategies to help the reader trust in God patiently, while including snippets from her own life struggles, too.
Straightaway, Johnson lays out her presumptions of the religious views of her reader: either born-again Christian, or they believe that God is supreme (appendix B provides steps to becoming a born-again Christian). Therefore, a reader can easily decide whether to continue with the book.
The author presents relevant listings of Bible verses throughout the book. In the chapter “Wait,” for example, she espouses that love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance are the necessary traits which “…will keep us in good waiting form from now until eternity.” She then offers verses specifically addressing each of these qualities. She cites John 15:11, for example, as referring to joy: “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” Other verses allude to different qualities, and each chapter opens with a pertinent verse as well.
In addition to pertinent Bible verses, Johnson also provides several examples of her own prayers, which are sufficiently general so as to apply to different types of tough waiting times. She writes, “Dear Father: You know I have spent many moments, many hours complaining, fussing, griping, and yelling about having to wait.” The prayers range from “Help Me to Wait” prayers, to “Now I am Waiting” prayers, to “Emergency Room” prayers. After some of the prayers, she suggests Bible verses for further study. Finally, after each type of prayer, she leaves plenty of space for the reader to create their own personal prayer.
With an engaging and pleasant tone, the author presents a concise, practical, and efficient self-help manual with a Christian focus. Readers will appreciate the book’s organization, which aids in easily finding a Bible verse to address a particular habit or situation. Neither academic nor theological, this straightforward and positive book will appeal to readers looking for a quick biblical reference during difficult times.