One of the small bottles on the medication table in our dining room has a label that reads “sambucus.” For days I’ve meant to look it up online and find out what it is – or if it is different from the elderberry extract that I thought it was supposed to be. (Nope, that’s what it is. It is supposed to help dry up my sinuses.)
It was my intent for days to do this but I kept forgetting. This was something I wanted to do, a curiosity that itched at my brain as I stared at the bottle. And I kept forgetting about it as soon as Melanie was done feeding me. As much as I wanted the information and satisfaction, my own weakness – and wandering mind – left me waiting for it.
We have been praying for my healing for over five months. We’re still waiting for that, too. Has the Lord forgotten?? Or have I not been faithful to ask clearly and consistently? Or is it that we haven’t seen all there is for the Lord to do yet?
Last week Melanie’s sister diagnosed my shoulder pain as likely further stroke damage. She had shoulder surgery last year and has taught me some of the exercises that helped her regain full use of them. More exercises to remember. More effort to invest. More waiting in the hope that the stripes Jesus bore for me will manifest a full healing in my body. Soon, I hope.
Even though Easter has finally come, after a long and confusing weekend, there are many like me who are still waiting to see what has changed for them. The Sunday night travelers on the Emmaus Road hadn’t gotten it yet. Thomas would not see the risen Jesus for another week. Paul (still as Saul) would wreak plenty of grief on believers before he got it.
Even forty additional days walking with Jesus before his accension did not remove all the doubts in the minds of his followers. (“When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.” Matthew 28:17) There was still some waiting to endure before The Holy Spirit arrived, as promised, to comfort, teach and guide the servants of the Lord.
And even after the arrival of The Holy Spirit there would still be waiting for us to endure. I have become more sensitive to this in my own waiting through this season of physical brokenness.
I have one friend who is smiling every time I see her at church. Then she goes home to care for a bedridden husband and son.
I phoned one friend who had non-cancer surgery last week so that the way could be cleared for his chemotherapy to continue.
Then there is the friend who wrote to me from Australia on Easter Sunday about her season of waiting:
“I’m only too aware how hard it is to see progress when progress is very slow, but any small improvement is cause for rejoicing!! I’ve just been diagnosed with another disease and that makes 8 now – wouldn’t you know it none of them can be cured, only ‘managed’. But after the initial shock, anger and sheer frustration I AM finding peace in the midst and I can honestly say although I’m not content with my situation, I am content in my situation! I know God is at work, more especially when doctors tell me I shouldn’t be able to do something I can actually do quite well! One specialist says “you don’t add up.” Another has said “come in and amaze me.” But none of them have said you’re healed – yet! Medically speaking I was told by the time I was 60 I would definitely be in a wheelchair and here I am, a few months from ’61’ and although I don’t walk like I used to, praise God my bones can hold me up so I CAN walk! His strength is definitely my staying power! Be encouraged dear friend when frustration hits hard and you “long” to be set free, (a place I have been known to visit frequently :D) God knows your frustration and heartache and He IS at work – just He’s doing it His way!!!!”
I recognize some (most? all?) of my prayers are motivated by my pain and frustration and not truly because I want God’s Will to be done before all else. I am still learning to pray that and mean it when I do. God wants to do it His way, the best way, the way I rarely understand at the time.
While I wait, the day after Easter, I continue to hope for that. I also hope I can wait for it properly.