Saturday, February 12, 2011

Wait .. Waited.... Waiting

Bald Eagle waiting/looking for food

Waiting just seems to be a part of life, for both man and beast.
I have just had an exercise in waiting.
An accidental observation in a lung x-ray revealed to my rheumatologist a widening of my mediastinum.
That began a long series of blood tests, scans, biopsies.... all of them in the plural and all of them followed by waiting periods often extended by doctors going 'out of town' or tests lost or needing to be redone.
Waiting, waiting, waiting -- that extended into weeks, then several months.
Finally, this week I got that call I had been waiting for that gave me some definitive 'answers' or at least an indicated direction of resolve.
The suspicious nodule in my substernal goiter is impossible to biopsy for cancer. The only way is be sure is to biospy it after removing my thyroid gland. But, my oncologist/surgeon explained, in my case that is not a simple surgery since it will take two surgeons and my breastbone needing to be broken to help get the thyroid gland out.
So I am scheduled for more appointments and waiting for the inevitable surgery.
In thinking about my situation ....I have realized some things about waiting.
1> The feeling of being alone. Perhaps the common childish fear of being abondoned by parents is a fear that never really leaves and we feel remnants of it throughout our lives. When we are standing outside a building waiting for someone to come pick us up or waiting in a coffeeshop for a friend who is late. we feel suddenly alone and the fear of abandonment threatens to surface even though reason tells us the wait is only temporary.
2> Waiting involves dependancy on someone else.
There is only one reason to 'wait'. Someone/something is needed in our life that we have no control over. Someone else has the power or authority to make it happen but for some reason their action is delayed.
3> Waiting is emotionally demanding.
Waiting draws an intensely emotional focus on the thing we are waiting for, causing the other things in our life to pale in importance. When we are waiting for something, it is difficult to impossible to prioritize any other way than to keep that waited-for-thing at the top of our 'focus on' list.
Waiting - how happily we would banish it from our lives.
And then - when we turn for comfort to the scriptures we are simply told ... "Wait on the Lord!"
How can that be comfort?
We wait feeling so alone struggling to trust/believe that He will come through, somehow, sometime.
But will He? Perhaps His will is not what we are hoping for...perhaps His timing is not our timing...perhaps we are undeserving of His attention.... are we abandoned?
Fear arises in our hearts minimizing our faith.
We wait... watching, hoping, longing for that one thing that will make our life better .. if only the Lord would act on our behalf.
But wait .... we have it all wrong ... there is something beautiful we have missed !
Psa 27:14 "Wait on the LORD; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD!"
The way we read the verse we subconsciously read into it all of the emotion of what the word 'wait' brings to mind and heart.
But there is something VERY different when God calls us to 'wait' for Him - something I only learned recently.
The Hebrew word for 'wait' is a word that means 'to bind or entwine'. That word meaning suddenly changes the whole situation.
What God is inviting us to do .. rather than sit alone and afraid... is to come and wait 'entwined' with Him.
We are not asked to wait alone.
He Himself will wait with us, His arm protectively around us as we wait together.
We wait, not dependent on the frailty of man or the unpredictability of circumstances.
We wait knowing that God has all things under His control. We need not fear.
God asks us, rather than struggling to keep our emotions from frustrating or terrifying us, to bind ourselves to His word, to His promises as we wait together with Him.
Then, instead of being focused on the 'thing' we are waiting for we are focused on Him... our hearts entwined with His... our thoughts following His thoughts, our mind grasping hold of His promises , our emotions 'resting' in the security of His peace, our hearts rejoicing in praise and thanksgiving.
THAT is what 'waiting' on the Lord is !


ellen b. said...

Oh Julie,
You really have described why it's hard for so many of us to wait and then you have given such great truth to replace our human emotions in the waiting times of our lives. May God continue to comfort you in the waiting and give you encouragement so that you can encourage others!

James Janzen said...

I'm sorry you have soo much waiting. It would be so nice to just get it over with so you can get on with your life. We will continue to pray for you.

Betty W said...

Every time I come here it´s a blessing to me. Waiting is one of the hardest things for me to do and you described my emotions while doing so perfectly.
I´m so sorry you have these health problems to go through and hope that they will find a good result soon. Or at least know which direction to take.
I can imagine the feeling of helplessness you are feeling and hope and pray that the Lord will be with you and by your side through this.

Judy said...

There's a lesson here for us all, Julie. is never easy.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts while you are in the 'waiting room'! My prayers are with you enter this 'next stage' of waiting. May God be your comfort and strength...each new day.

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

Once again knowing an accurate Hebrew translations brings comfort. You put together a clear picture of our traditional understanding of waiting and yet it is so different that what God intended. is patience developing waiting to know where medical situations are heading. I will pray for an "all clear" report with the least possible inconvenience to you.

Lovella ♥ said...

Julie. .it is wonderful to know what "waiting" on the Lord truly means. What a comfort amidst a human trial.
It is wonderful to have your example of walking through a waiting period with peace and joy.

Kathy said...

Julie, you are one who always looks to God's word and finds precious truths that we can apply to our life. I have seen you in this waiting and have seen how you have waited on God....and you are finding Him faithful.
May He continue to carry you and give you courage for the days ahead. Standing with you in prayer. With love

Elsie said...

Thank you for your wise and encouraging words once again. May you continue to be comforted and find rest in God's "everlasting arms".

Marg said...

Waiting is difficult my friend. Especially when we don't know the outcome...regardless if it's health issues or relationships...there is something crying out in us called restoration of my health..healing on to new and better things, which equals happiness and contentment..but while the waiting continues, God draws us nigh to him as we gently lean on him and wait.
Praying for you daily.

Betty said...

Waiting is so hard and yet we are called to 'wait on the Lord'.
Praying with you Julie. May you experience His peace through it all.

Marilyn said...

So sorry you are going thru all this waiting - I enjoy your blog and have read it now for several weeks - you provide wonderful devotions - thank you. I will wait - and pray with you.

Anneliese said...

Beautiful post, Julie! It makes all the difference when we wait WITH Him ...and He is not wringing His hands.

Karin said...

Even though this waiting is so difficult, and each of us responds differently to this process, waiting is such a huge part of our life. Wish it away and the lessons we learn during the wait are not ours. You bless me in that you chose to wait on the Lord, trusting, hoping, praying, growing, blessing others during your wait and knowing He will never leave your or forsake you. Blessings!

Anonymous said...

My family has a history of thyroid cancer and everyone who has had his/her thyroid out, even when the preliminary tests were inconclusive, turned out to have cancer. Now it's my turn to "wait" as I undergo these same tests and plan on getting my thyroid out. I wish you the best.

Julie said...

Dear Anonymous... I'm so sorry about your family 'history' with thyroid cancer ... I pray that God walk you through what lies before you .. and I ask for His healing hand upon you!
Thank you for commenting, and feel free to e-mail me personally if you would like.. I would like to know how things turn out for you. I'll be praying for you!