You know what I hate?
I mean, I really hate it. I’m terrible at waiting. Even this morning, I was at a doctor’s appointment and after 45 minutes in the waiting room, was called into the back and assigned a room where I had to wait for another 45 minutes. To make matters worse, there’s no WIFI or cell service in the back so I had to just sit there. Doing nothing. For 45 minutes. Torture.
Unfortunately, waiting seems to be familiar friend [foe] these days. For me, it comes with the constant scanning every 1-3 months. As soon as one scan is done and the results are in, I start thinking about the next one, regardless of how far away it might be. Even when the results are positive, in just a matter of days the battle rears itself again and I find myself wondering, waiting, and if I’m not careful, dormant. However, I have to say that through these reoccurring seasons, I’ve learned a few things that if I remember them daily, can be the fuel I need not only just to get through but to get through successfully.
1. Relinquish control.
Even before cancer rudely invaded my life, I was incredibly inpatient and refused to wait for pretty much anything. It took me many years to realize that being impatient is actually rooted in a need to control. If at all possible, I would just make something happen, regardless if the outcome could have been better if I had just waited for the perfect timing. When we’re forced into waiting for something, big or small, we have to accept the reality we have to relinquish control and just let God take over. Most of us would admit that God doesn’t make mistakes so logically, it makes more sense to just let him handle things but for some reason, we love to get involved, even when we know we need to (you guessed it) wait.
I love Psalm 46–it’s just a not-so-subtle reminder that while our issues are so incredibly important to him, they pale in comparison to the magnitude of our amazing God!
Come, behold the works of the Lord, Who has wrought desolation and wonders in the earth. He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow into pieces and snaps the spear in two; He burns the chariots in the fire. Let be and be still, and know (recognize and understand) that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations! I will be exalted in the earth!
I’m so thankful it doesn’t say “work until the point of exhaustion” and know that I am God…or “plan and execute it perfectly” and know that I am God. Our job couldn’t be any more clear–let be & be still. Leave it to us to over complicate would should be most simple directions ever.
2. God never stops moving.
Like most practical issues, the fear of losing control is extremely deep rooted and in my experience, really tough to break away from. If I really knew that God was going show up for me & keep his promise, I wouldn’t be so scared of waiting and letting him take over. When life is moving along at a reasonable, healthy pace, I feel good. I feel in control. I feel taken care of. However, when the road gets tough or life gets a jolt, I question what I’m doing and even worse, I question what God’s doing. And in seasons of wait, my questions go from sporadic to constant and instead of living in peace, I start to feel turmoil and anxiety.
But here’s the truth: God never stops moving. He never stops working on my behalf and he never stops fulfilling his promises for my life. His ways are so much higher than our ways and while our actions do have consequences (positive & negative), our inactivity does not create a roadblock for our God, especially when it comes to Him fulfilling his plans and purposes.
When I was 9 months pregnant, I found a new lump. Due to its location and texture, it was obviously a recurrence of melanoma. Those next four weeks were probably the most difficult of my life. In what was supposed to be one of the most exciting seasons of my life, I was devastated. I would put my hands on my belly and feel the movements of my sweet baby, the epitome of life itself, and inches away was a visible, tangible, & haunting sign of the fear of death. And I could do nothing. I was too early to deliver and I couldn’t even do scans, much less treatment, until Lilian was born. Oncology appointments were followed by midwife appointments and moments of joy of knowing we were so close to meeting Lilian were followed by moments of fear of the unknown. Waiting was all I could do. I wish I could say I handled it well but it was tough. It was probably the first time in my life when I could do absolutely nothing…and probably the only time in my life when I had to completely depend on Papa God.
3. It’s all about the heart.
If you’re like me, you’ve probably wondered why God doesn’t just wave his hand to make whatever should happen happen. In a blink of his eye, he could move mountains and forward time and make things disappear. Of course he could…so why doesn’t he? Why do I need to go through trial and seasons of what seems like dormancy, wondering and waiting for God to fulfill His promise? Well, I certainly don’t have all the answers but I do know this: he desires relationship. If he didn’t, he would just make things happen without involving us at all. Instead, he asks us to move, to wait, to trust, to walk, to run, and to wait again, all the while knowing that we ultimately rest in the palm of his hand and the center of his purposes. He desires that we know his heart, his character, and the sound of voice–so much so that in the darkest of seasons, we are able to be at peace & “let be & be still & know that He is God.”
Oh, if it were as easy as reading a blog, right? Believe me, I know. I know that we can read something like this and have it resonate within our spirits and then face the same issues hours later. All I can say or advise is this. In seasons of waiting, darkness, or whatever it is, we have an opportunity to know the sovereign God in the most intimate way. We can pursue the heart of Jesus with abandon & complete dependency, knowing that HE is our only option…because He really is all we’ve got.
So keep on…waiting. Though it’s hard (ok, almost impossible), do your best to take advantage of one of the few times in your life when you truly can/should/will do nothing…it really is gonna be ok.