“I think my throat is closing!”

These were the words that I mumbled to Dianne at about 7 a.m. We were in a Reading motel room, and I had been having trouble getting saliva and swallowing since about 3:30 a.m. And, it seemed like my problem was getting worse.

Jim Herrold, my former college roommate, was getting remarried that morning in a nearby town at 11 a.m. I was to be the best man and we needed to leave by 10 a.m. to get to the wedding in time. We had come for practice the night before and after a practice dinner we had returned to the motel to avoid the trip home.

Aware of my concern and discomfort, Dianne helped me quickly pack our belongings. We decided to dress for the wedding, check out, and head to the closest emergency room.

We arrived at the emergency room before 8 a.m. and shared not only my physical problem but also our need to leave by 10 a.m. to drive to the wedding. While I was having difficulty talking at that point they seemed to understand and appreciate my situation. They assured me that getting help in time would not be a problem since it was early Saturday morning and only one person was ahead of me.

So we waited … and we waited … and 45 minutes later I was taken to an observation room where two ladies began to ask me a battery of questions. They took all sorts of tests, but never even looked at my throat. I had hoped that one was a doctor but it turned out that they were both nurses. They kept assuring me, however, that I would be out in time to participate in the wedding.

After this battery of questions they decided I needed an EKG and I had to take off my wedding clothing to have this done.

With this accomplished, they then put me into a wheelchair and wheeled me to another observation room where a doctor was supposed to finally see me. By then it was already 9:30 and we had just 30 minutes before we had to leave.

Finally another young lady appeared in the new room and again went over my history and problem. She never looked at my throat either, but she informed me that it was probably mucous caught behind my tonsils. She said this often happens.

She seemed surprised when I told her that this would be unusual since my tonsils were removed years ago. She then told me that a doctor would soon be in to see me … she wasn’t a doctor either.

I told her that I only had 30 minutes until I had to leave and asked her if I’d get to see a doctor in that time. Her reply? “Probably not, and if you really have to leave just let me know.”

Incidentally, that was the last time I saw her. And, 30 minutes later I went out to the desk and told them I had to leave. At first they thought I’d have to sign a form but then they decided that since I hadn’t seen a doctor I could just leave. They suggested that I come back after the wedding.

We had waited there for two hours and had seen three nurses, but nobody had even looked at my throat. They had to be kidding! Why would I ever return there?

Someone volunteered to show us how to get out and we left – hopefully never to return.

Incidentally, the longer we were out of the motel room, the better my throat became. I really believe that it was either something in the room or the air conditioning or something I ate the night before.

On Monday I tried to make an appointment with my throat specialist at home. I told her receptionist that I had been to the emergency room and needed a follow up visit. The first appointment they could give me was three weeks later. So I guess the Lord knew I had to learn the lesson “hurry up and wait”!

Do you find it hard to wait? I do. We all want instant answers and instant help. But sometimes the Lord requires that we wait until He is ready, in His perfect timing, to answer and direct us. So at times we must learn in our spiritual walk to wait and to trust Him fully. And, He never will leave us down.

The Psalmist must have realized this when he penned the words of Psalm 27:13,14. “I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.” And waiting on Him is always the best choice.

Oh yes, we arrived at the wedding on time and we had a wonderful experience at a Christ honoring ceremony. I was fully able to participate and to even enjoy the great food at the reception.

And one final observation. … the hospital never took my address or my insurance information. So while I don’t know the results of my EKG and other tests, they don’t know how or where to bill me. I guess they will just have to wait for a payment.

It was an “interesting” way to spend a morning!