Sunday, January 21, 2007

Waiting on God

Waiting has always been one of my least favorite activities. Mostly because waiting is just waiting and doesn't require any specific action. You simply have to wait. It seems easier when you can do something specific to encourage the desired result. You take action on points A,B, & C--and voila--you arrive at point D! No problem. But waiting is different. No amount of planning or goal setting makes a difference. You have to "hang around", "sit tight", "bide one's time" according to The Synonym Finder.
Like you, I've waited a lot in my lifetime. I've waited for Christmas and summer vacations, for the phone to ring with that special guy asking me out for a date. I've waited for graduation, for college breaks, and for an amazing wedding day. I've waited for babies to be born, for my husband to come home after being away on temporary duty with the Air Force. I've waited for test results, for a fractured kneecap to heal, and a broken heart to mend. And then there were those nights when I lay awake waiting for a teenage son with a new drivers license to come home.
But so far, nothing has been quite as difficult as the waiting Randy and I have had to do during the past few days. His dad who lives on the opposite coast, three times zones away, had surgery on Thursday morning. An elective outpatient procedure, but they had planned to keep him overnight because he has other medical issues. We got the call on Thursday afternoon. Dad was in ICU and hadn't awakened after surgery. They had put him on a ventilator to help him breathe. Phone calls bounced back and forth between siblings, nurses, and doctors. "We'll just have to wait and see," they said. And so we have waited for the phone to ring with updates. It's been four days and we're still waiting for the next bit of news which my sister-in-law who is there has been faithful to report.
Randy and I chide ourselves for not being in a position where we could pick up and go--just to be there. But would that make a difference? We would still be waiting, although in a hospital waiting room where information about Dad's condition would be more readily available.
I'd like to think that as I've grown older and maybe a bit wiser, that I've gotten better at waiting, but I'm not sure. I do know that my ability to wait is dependent on my ability to trust that God is in control of circumstances I can't control. I guess waiting does require action after all. In order to wait well, we have to turn situations over to the Lord, moment by moment, and then rest in Him. I have to remind myself of scriptures like Philippians 4: 7. "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, bring your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
No matter where we are waiting (even if in rush hour traffic), we would all do well to remember not to be anxious, to turn our out-of-our-control circumstances over to the Lord of All. He promises peace we cannot comprehend while we wait. And so I will need to remind myself of this often.



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