Waiting is one of the most difficult experiences in the whole world. It doesn’t seem to matter much if the object of our delay is good or bad; either way, the time spent waiting feels excruciating. As a child, the anticipation of Christmas morning felt like almost too much to bear. The excitement built till I thought I might burst.
I remember the inner turmoil of waiting to receive my engagement ring and proper proposal. Steve and I had already discussed and decided on a date, and had received our parents’ blessings, but the ring hadn’t arrived yet. One Friday evening, my friend and I spent three hours preparing me for a date with Steve, as I just knew I would receive my ring that night. It was such a letdown emotionally when I returned home with no ring and no proposal – and had to continue waiting. Even though I fully trusted Steve’s devotion and our plans to marry, I hated waiting longer for my dream to be fulfilled. Because of my angst, when the ring arrived at the jeweler the next Tuesday, Steve proposed soon after getting off of work. He had pre-arranged his plans of how and where he would propose and they far exceeded my expectations and were absolutely a dream-come-true… even on a Tuesday night.
But I sit here today – waiting – for a much different reason. My good friend is in surgery right now to remove cancer from her body. I walk and pray, sit and pray, wash dishes and pray. There seems to be no best way to wait.
Hours spent in hospital waiting rooms, waiting for others, have prepared me for this day. I know it does no good to worry or stew. I have to put my trust where it matters and continue bringing my requests, fear, and anxiety back to God. I know He is big enough and able to do what He has said He will do (Isaiah 30:18). I know that He has my friend in the shelter of His protection (Psalm 91:4). I know that He is the healer (Psalm 103:3 and Isaiah 53:5). He is mighty to save (Isaiah 63:1). I know that He is with her and won’t leave her alone through this process (Deuteronomy 31:8). But I also know that His ways are higher than my ways (Isaiah 55:9), and that His purposes are often hidden from my view (Philippians 2:13). He sees the big picture, and my perception is often small and skewed (1 Corinthians 13: 12).
But through many years’ experience, I have learned that He is faithful (Psalm 89:8; Deuteronomy 32:4). That is a truth we can be told, but it is altogether different when we experience God’s faithfulness for ourselves. I’ve learned that He is trustworthy (Hebrews 6:19). And I know that whatever happens, He will work things out for good… somehow (Romans 8:28).
So I wait. I worship. I pray. And I trust. In the midst of dark times, He is the light of my life. And I know that He loves my friend even more than I do. There is peace in that place.