Aug 20, 2013 - 3:07 am
I knew cancer would be a difficult experience, but I wasn’t quite prepared for just how tedious an experience it would be! I once read that movie making involves brief moments of high drama interspersed with long items of total boredom. Anyone who has lived through cancer treatment knows that description applies to us too. There are those few high-drama moments when you first hear your diagnosis, when your test results are especially good or bad, when you have a bad reaction to medication or a breakthrough in treatment. In between, though, you spend the majority of your time cooling your heels in waiting rooms, relaxing in recliners while IVs pump chemicals into your system, or just lying on the couch while you wait for your strength to build. Sometimes you can’t focus or concentrate, which means you can’t read, and even watching TV can be a struggle. Sometimes you have sores in your mouth and food taste terrible, so you can’t talk or eat much. Your immune system maybe compromised, so you can’t really go out in public. In addition to being miserable, a lot of time you’re just bored and frustrated. The experience of waiting is one of the hardest aspects of my cancer. That’s not surprising because waiting is one of the hardest things any of us has to do in our lives. Its also an unavoidable part of being human and a built in aspect of being a Christian.
When things are going well, we wait for them to get better. When times are hard, we wait for circumstances to improve, we wait for good things in anticipation and frustration, we wait for bad things in dread…and frustration. And when we are ill or in trouble, the waiting can be simply excruciating. Jesus once said that in this world we will have trouble! He didn’t specifically add, but experience tells us that a lot of our trouble would involve waiting! The trouble, of course, is that most of us don’t really like to wait. I Don’t. John really doesn’t! John and I have both been active people all our lives. We’ve always liked to take care of business, to make plans, to do it now! Now to be placed in a situation where waiting was our only real choice was something frustrating, sometimes depressing, sometimes downright excruciating. I think the biggest reason waiting is hard is that it takes away your illusions of control. It interrupts our plans and our schedules and punctures our sense that we can run our lives the best way we think best. To make things worse waiting confuses our sense of what we can and can’t do. When we’re in waiting mode, we don’t know how to plan. We resist starting something new because we don’t know if we’ll be able to finish. As I said I really don’t like waiting but I ve discovered that there is good to be found in these painful, frustrating waiting times. The longer I live, the more I see God’s purposes in much of our waiting. Our sovereign lord truly knows the end from the beginning, and his timing is perfect. In these time of waiting, I have discovered that my priority seem to shift. Little things that once seemed insignificant loom large, while issues I thot were crucial, I loose their sense of urgency, I find my self focusing on the moment, on what I can do to make life better for myself and others, and letting God take care of the big picture. My life have become simpler, not by my design, but by his design. I have a better sense of what’s important and what isn’t. Here is a key to waiting positively; keep on participating in life even while you are waiting, this isn’t easy cos when you re waiting for. Something to happen, your mind is restless, its hard to settle down and take care ordinary stuff when part of you is waiting. So I say life doesn’t stop simply because part of you is in holding pattern. You don’t know how long your waiting will take so it just makes sense to take care of your business as best you can, trusting God to take care of what you can’t manage. If waiting is longer, there is still a lot you can do, your current circumstances may give you more time than ever to pray or listen asking the lord to show you what jobs he has for you to do while you are waiting. Ask him to show you some of the purpose and possibilities in your pain realizing that you won’t see the whole picture until its over.