Friday, February 17, 2012
In the Waiting Room
"They think I might have cancer," she said softly. "Will you go with me when I find out?"
How could I say no? This woman, although she is 20 years my senior, is my friend. There was no place I'd rather be, than holding her hand when she would hear the results of her many tests. "It would be my honor," I replied, humbled that she would ask me to be there with her.
As a ministry leader and pastor's wife, it is not uncommon for me to be in hospitals; in fact, it has become familiar territory. But today was different. This wasn't some stranger I was visiting; this was my friend. This was my son's Sunday School teacher.
So today we went, along with another friend from church. We crowded into the small room, the 3 of us and the doctor, as he explained the results. "It is colon cancer," he said, "Stage 4." "It has spread."
Tears were shed. Questions were asked. We waited...and waited...and waited...until she was admitted to the hospital.
And, like many things in life, we sit in the unknown. We sit in the waiting room of life, wondering what will happen. We trust in our God, that His ways are not our ways, and we wait on Him.
Yet we see Him at work, even in the waiting room. As we sat for 3 hours in the hallway, she lying on a gurney and me resting in her wheelchair, I remembered something. In my purse was a copy of "Jesus Calling," a book I felt led to give to her. I had pulled the ribbon bookmark to February 16th, because I felt that particular day would really minister to her. She took one look and smiled. You see, last weekend, her other friend gave her the book as well. The first day she had opened to and read was February 16th. This is what it said:
Thank Me for the conditions that are requiring you to be still. Do not spoil these quiet hours by wishing them away, waiting impatiently to be active again. Some of the greatest works in My kingdom have been done from sick beds and prison cells. Instead of resenting the limitations of a weakened body, search for My way in the midst of these very circumstances. Limitations can be liberating when your strongest desire is living close to me.
You see, even in the waiting room, God is at work. We may not understand His ways, or His plan, but we can take comfort in the fact that, at the very least, He is there.
Whatever waiting room you are in, remember that He is with you, waiting with you.