If there is anything that one gets to do a lot in a hospital --- it’s waiting. One waits for lab results to come in, for medicines to take effect, for bodily functions to restore to normal, for the doctor who’s doing her rounds seven floors above you, for the bathroom to be cleaned when you called the utility an hour ago, for your turn at the long queue at the cafeteria jam-packed with people (fortunately hospital meals for the patient are punctual), and wait for your number to be called at the cashier’s lounge. It’s a long list of waiting for something or someone. It’s also waiting for days to zoom past and for time to fly with haste, if only.
I’ve got patience famous in the family for its ability to stretch itself to Africa. Mom, who wouldn’t miss the chance to bonk my head with lessons, would always remind me that ‘patience is a virtue’. But in a hospital situation where it’s put to the acid test, it fails miserably -- Because to my mind their sense of urgency seems NOT to jive with mine. Never does. Theirs are always off. Well, I guess that’s how relatives of patients must feel anywhere everywhere.
There’s one other kind of waiting though that’s an integral part of a situation such as this. It’s --- waiting on God.
This is the battle that rages in the spiritual realm of faith. One wrestles with the question – will I or will I not trust God? Will he answer my prayer …or not? We live in a physical and material world where to understand things we must see it – hear it – touch it – or talk with it. So what doesn’t fit into the criteria boggles our minds and gives us a hard time believing. And because we are a culture of ‘instant coffee’ and Mr. Fix-It-ASAP, anything that makes us wait indefinitely or grope in the dark goes against the grain and rattles our brains, not discounting the super ego too.
But if one leans on prayer in one’s darkest hour, then one will learn soon enough that in prayer one gets to do a lot of waiting. In fact, prayer is waiting too.
Waiting on God is different --- It’s not the dry lazy do-nothing wasted time of waiting as most perceive it to be. Because there’s so much that really goes into the waiting --- Things which one can’t easily rouse up in normal times and sometimes not even in extraordinary times. So it’s a hard battle between the opposing camps of “Will I” or “Will I not” trust God. Yet despite the fierce battle raging within, one does ultimately win the joust even before the waiting is over --- Hard to believe that? By God’s magnificent grace, the waiting bears fruit in the waiting itself. God uses whatever you can give him, big or small faith, to create something you will absolutely need in your circumstance.
Strange as it may seem something happens as one waits – it’s like something inexplicable pushes aside the curtain of doubt and uncertainty which veils across the mind and heart. A sense of boldness and clarity of thought takes its place. A fresh surge of confidence and understanding shoots up and out allowing one to see one’s place in the scheme of things. And hope becomes the light that carries one bravely through. Now where does that all come from, you might ask?
All these things happen in waiting on God. With an open and trusting heart you will see that He responds quickly in ways beyond an ordinary man’s understanding. Though He may not create the miracle you want in the way you may want it (He has His ways) but He will definitely create a special miracle inside you. What seems like a slump or setback in your life is actually God’s way of creating a better you -- like a product is refined through a certain process to make it better. Now why should this be important to us? It’s simple, we know that life is not easy… never was meant to be easy and we undoubtedly need something to carry us through the long arduous journey. Having prestige, influence, power, resources, and money may not be enough sometimes although it has its uses too. BUT... Of what use are those material perks when we cringe or flinch at the slightest prick or crumble at the tiniest of bad news? So much more is needed and that can’t be found outside of us but rather from within. God set life in that extraordinary mode for a very specific reason. This is for us to mature – develop – grow. The unpleasant circumstances of our life bring out our talents and skills of survival – it transforms us into persons of courage and strength, of diligence and perseverance, of wisdom and faith – the kind that God wants to see in us.
He wants us to grow in faith, in trust, in spiritual power and stature so that we are able to surmount the often impenetrable circumstances of our mortal life. Thus it can be said that the material and physical world only plays second fiddle to the spiritual growth of man and his soul. All that which transpires on earth work separately or collectively towards that sole purpose or end --- top of the line Spiritual strength and power. This is the spiritual blueprint of our lives – Becoming the person of trust, prayer, obedience, courage, strength, power, and faith which He wants and enables us to be. Armed with it, we begin to understand and experience that life despite its difficulties --- becomes perceptively a rewarding challenge, amazingly. Active waiting on God moves it forward every time.
Rejoice when God makes you wait --- for He is doing something magnificent in your life.
He just did ----- in mine. :-)
posted on Thursday, September 13, 2007 6:51 PM