Friday, January 12, 2018

I Don’t Like to Wait

Many of you know that, for the last few months, our daughter Melissa and grand-daughter Leila have been living with us. It has been a long time since we had a 5 year old (correction 5 3/4 year old) with us for an extended period of time and I had forgotten how differently a small child sees the world. Perception of time for a child is very different than for an adult. When Leila asks “when will my mom get home from class?” and we answer “in about 30 minutes,” her response is always, “that’s a long time!” A 5 minute wait for a snack can be an excruciating trial of patience.

Having said that I find that I am not all that different. At age 61 (correction 61 11/12) I have a little longer perspective on time, but I dislike waiting just as much as she does. This is really not so good because waiting is an every day part of life in this world. I wait for my doctor appointments, on hold to pay my bills on the phone, and for the 49ers to win another Super Bowl. I have been waiting 22 years on that last one. The big wait for me now is the wait for my PET scan, in a month or two, that will let me know if the bone marrow transplant got all the cancer. It appears so, but the doctor will not commit until that test. In fact, the doctor will wait until I am cancer free for a year before the official pronouncement. “That’s a long time!”

This waiting plays with my mind. The doctor told me to watch for any symptoms that might return so that they could get me back in earlier if necessary. I am not sure that was a good thing for me, because the temptation is to worry about each back twinge and pain in the abdomen and say “here we go again.” This has led to a few nights where it is hard to get to sleep. I have prayed my Psalm 31.5 prayer about a 1000 times since the transplant. I know that a positive attitude promotes healing, but it is still hard to stay away from the dark paths that sometimes open up in my mind.  I am so thankful for people that are praying for me and for Joyce. This helps a lot. I have confidence in God’s promises and in His love for me, but there are times when it is tough to stay positive.

Sometimes I feel like this…

    Deliver me, O God, for the water has reached my neck. I sink into the deep mire where there is no solid ground;
     I am in deep water, and the current overpowers me. I am exhausted from shouting for help; my throat is sore;
     my eyes grow tired of looking for my God. The NET Bible First Edition Ps 69:1–3

Even though I know it ends like this…

    For the LORD listens to the needy; he does not despise his captive people. Let the heavens and the earth praise him, along with the seas and everything that swims in them! For God will deliver Zion and rebuild the cities of Judah, and his people will again live in them and possess Zion. The descendants of his servants will inherit it,
and those who are loyal to him will live in it. NET Bible, Ps 69:33–36

But waiting is an integral part of living in this age between the 1st coming of Christ when the forces of sin and death were defeated, and the second coming when that victory will be fully realized and experienced. While we experience the kingdom through the Holy Spirit today (and we need to trust God more for that – I believe God heals and trust Him to heal me) we wait for the full release from the corruption sin has caused in this world. As one writer put it “ours is a long day’s journey of the Saturday.” (George Steiner, quoted in Brueggemann’s OT Theology)  In some ways we live between the cross on Friday and glory of the Sunday resurrection. We suffer as we take up our cross daily and we look forward to the full release from suffering, aloneness, and brokenness. What do we do in the meantime? We wait!

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