When the Waiting Room and Faith Collide

A few weeks back I sat in the surgical waiting room at a hospital in San Diego waiting for news about my Dad.

I came prepared to wait.

I had my books and computer, a mini office of sorts.

As hour after hour went by, I watched as people waited, some chatting quietly, others watching mindless shows on the overhead television flatscreen and others staring numbly wondering what the next moments would bring for their loved ones. Then a doctor would come in searching for the family, usher them gently out into the hallway and deliver their news either good or bad. It was sobering to say the least.

We had just recently found out that my Dad had a large cancerous melanoma tumor and the initial report prepared us to expect the worst. So I waited for weeks before the surgery holding my breath and then in the waiting room while my Mom sat by my Dad’s side as they prepped him for surgery.

We were one of the those later in the day who received good news from the surgeon that gave us hope but we still had to wait for the pathology report. I think that wait was more difficult than waiting in the waiting room. Days went by and then on the plane ride home, after I couldn’t stand it any longer, I bought 30 minutes of internet to tap into the outside world.

I received the text. “100% clean, no cancer, no further treatment.”

I cried.

Weeks of holding my breath let loose a dam of pent up emotions.

It wasn’t what we were told by the surgeon at first. We were bracing ourselves for the worst. As I got off the plane and called my husband and my sister and friends telling them the good news, my words came half broken through relief of tears and emotion.

I realize as I write this that not everyone gets this kind of report after waiting and pounding the doors of heaven. My heart grieves with those that get slammed with hard news and it is frightening. As my Dad went into his surgery, he had said earlier that he knew he had lived a good long life and was ready, but he was still scared. Of course, who wouldn’t be! I pleaded with God and begged to have at least five more good years with the first man I have ever loved.

God answered. He always answers, maybe not in the way that we hope for. This time He answered and spared my Dad from further surgery and treatment. Why? I don’t know because life doesn’t always make sense and I don’t have the mind of God. I heard people say after we shared the good news, “God is so faithful and so good to have answered.” But then I think, He doesn’t change, He is always good and always faithful even when the outcome isn’t what we hope for.

One of the sweetest moments came the next day when my Dad shared with me how he had prayed and prayed for strength and courage. He let me know that the morning of the surgery he woke up and felt such an overwhelming presence like God was right next to Him, reassuring him he would be okay. I remember my Dad saying to me timidly, that I might find that weird. I told him, of course not! God can reveal Himself in anyway He chooses to us, even giving us a tangible physical sense of closeness when we are afraid.

My father has a pure faith and I believe that because of his faithfulness that God revealed Himself to him in this way because he truly asked for it with shaking faith, but he asked and made a choice to believe. 2 Samuel 22:26 says, To the faithful you show yourself faithful, to the blameless you show yourself blameless. Not matter the outcome that day, God showed Himself faithful. Either way, no matter the news, my Dad knew that He was not alone.

There are other areas of my life that I pound heaven’s door for, and I am still waiting for a hopeful answer. There are areas of silence and I am still pleading and waiting. That’s hard to grasp when life gets hard. But today, I choose to trust and believe that, The word of the LORD is right and true: he is faithful in all he does. Psalm 33:4.

So I will keep pounding, I will keep asking, I will keep waiting on a God that doesn’t disappoint and who demonstrates Himself to ALWAYS be faithful.