Like many of my fellow Americans, I don’t like to wait. I don’t like to generalize, but I’ve noticed that other cultures seem to be better at it than we are. If you’ve ever been in Hawaii, you know the "Aloha Spirit” which to the best of my understanding means there is more emphasis on relaxation and enjoying the moment, than getting somewhere “on time.” I think there’s a generational aspect to waiting with patience too. Best examples were my my mom and dad. Maybe it was my parents’ personalities, but when they were waiting for a ride, or a phone call, or a package to arrive, they were able to enjoy chatting with others, or the activities going on around them. They made friends while waiting. It could be a fellow tourist waiting for Old Faithful to erupt, a fellow skier in the lift line, or someone waiting their turn at the barbershop.
Technology is great and it allows me to text, call, leave a message, or go online and check anything I want, without waiting for someone to return the library book I was waiting for. I have communication (sort of), and information (sort of) at my fingertips. No wonder I try to find the shortest line, and try to get the earliest appointment at the Dr. I have the urge to “save time” not waste it, and have more “free time” to do what I want. But let me tell you, one of the hardest things to wait for is surgery when you know you have cancer in you and you want it OUT!
It’s been several weeks since getting the news that I have a malignancy, and this is the week for the surgery to remove it and check the lymph nodes to see if it spread. I’ve been trying to make good use of the days, doing things that I won’t be able to do for a while and stocking up on comfort foods. There’s been a bunch of medical tests, and waiting rooms mixed into the last few weeks too…many hours spent driving to appointments and medical tests, and waiting to hear, “The Dr. will see you now.” I confess, it’s easy for my mind to slip into the frustrated wonder of “Why is it taking so long?” There’s the earthly plane, where crowded schedules get interrupted, emergencies happen, freeway exits are missed, computers are down, and people are forced to wait. But oh how thankful I am that even though I forget it sometimes, I am not “of this world.” Because Jesus Christ is my savior He has a very special, specific timetable for me because He has my ultimate good and joy in mind. He is in charge, (REALLY in charge) so I’m not ultimately waiting for someone to “call me back” or for someone to fax the right thing to the right place. God is the One I’m waiting for. That makes all the difference. Just remembering that God loves me, wastes nothing, and is committed to conforming me to the image of His son, takes off the pressure. During these “cancer’s-in-me” days, I’ve been enjoying His great comfort, and when tempted to impatience, I’ve been bolstered and loved.
“Those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.” Isaiah 40:31
I won't know the outcome until my amazing medical team is done with me, but I'm really grateful for them, and no matter what, I hope to glorify with every day of my life. I'm sure I'll be in "God's waiting room" again at some point, and I'll look forward to what He has in store for me there.
A helpful book: "Wait" by Smedley Yates