I thought I would wait to update until my doctor called to tell me what’s up with this biopsy. But I realized that this time, this waiting, is worth sharing about. I get about 20 texts or Facebook messages a day asking if I’ve heard anything, which tells me that people are just as anxious to hear about this as I am. We’re all biting our nails and pacing. Of course I’m the only one with the phone practically sewn into my palm (those of you with ongoing health issues know that missing a call from your doc and the subsequent phone tag is a special flavor of suffering that can invoke everything from a gnawing uneasiness that gets worse each second to sheer DEFCON 1 level panic.) We’re all wanting to know. We all desperately long for that miraculous good news, of course. And we understand how much more likely bad news is (or even some weird, inconclusive report.) We understand that this phone call will point us in a particular direction. One very different from the other. If the news is to be bad, we ought to probably just get on with it, right?
This is a lonely place. Even as much as people reach out and make great effort to be with me in the ways they can, and I understand we are in this together, it’s often a solitary experience. There are so many moments I’m alone, or even when among others, I’m alone in my thoughts. And I turn many things over in my brain. But mostly I pray. I commune with God. I respond to the tugs toward the kind of relating we are created for. Our thankfulness and God’s reassurance. Over and over.
My friend likes to talk about spiritual things like the existence of God and such with the question: what is this….like what is ALL of this? Who are we and what is our purpose? How does it work? Because – that’s what it’s really all about, right? What IS this? And who ARE we? Who made us? And why? And what happens next? We should really concern ourselves with these questions – and circumstances such as these (waiting for the doc to call about the maybe cancer) brings all of these rushing to the forefront. If you don’t know – well, I don’t quite know how I would approach all of this. Whatever gets you through. But even when you feel you know, you have to really really really remind yourself. A coworker recently called the Devil “the stranger who distracts you with lies” - now I don’t spend a lot of time studying the character of Satan in The Bible. I think because a lot of Christians talk about him in this super scary, unhelpful way, and blame him for a lot of things that are really about choices of humans. Satan, in these days and times is often just an excuse. But really…if he is the Father of Lies, and if he seeks to steal, kill and destroy, it makes sense to me that he would whisper lies to me, to try to take me off track. The thoughts that enter my head are dark and full of fear. They are sad. They are hopeless. They invoke anger and ultimately a deep sense of mistrust toward God. "He's betrayed you" says the liar. Sounds like something Satan would do. Or maybe it’s my own laziness. It’s hard work to fix my eyes on Jesus. When I’m doing it – praying without ceasing, writing out prayers of thanksgiving, giving my heart over to God, reading sound biblical interpretation, spending time in prayerful meditation, talking with people who comfort and encourage – I’m in the zone. The waiting doesn’t bother me.
This is in God’s hands. It’s in His time. All things, even the waiting, are for my good. This has given me a unique time with Him – a time to seek Him in a particular way. It seems you can’t have this kind of palatable closeness with God unless you are running to Him, full speed, desperate, totally vulnerable. Chased by terrifying beasts. But up ahead is the castle, and the King stands at the ready. The gates are open just for you, and His sword slays all that dare to harm you.
He sees fit for me to wait. So I wait and when the waiting is hard, because the fear builds up, I run to Him.