Waiting on God
How God may be using your waiting period to teach you the art of divine pursuit
Several years ago, there was something wrong with my blood. Don’t ask me what because I do not remember. All I remember are the words that it may be cancer and everything else went out the window. So off I went to see a specialist to figure out what was wrong with me.
The waiting room was packed with patients, dying cancer patients. How do I know this? Because many of them were talking about it. I sat in that rather large room feeling small and restless. I was still in my 30’s. There was no way I could die. I had three babies at home.
God, why am I here?
They started to run some tests and the numbers kept dropping. The next stop on the train was a painful procedure to determine if I had cancer. The doctor said if my numbers don’t get better that’s where we were headed.
God, where are you?
The next visit was the same. Sitting in the waiting room, I was not waiting, I was seeking God. Across from me, an elderly lady was staring at me. We started talking. She was dying of Stage 4 breast cancer.
She started to tell me her story. All the regrets in her life, one by one. And then came an opportunity I will never forget.
Do you know what my greatest regret is? she said to me. Not getting right with God.
That very morning, the Holy Spirit had told me to pack an extra bible, so I did. And when those words came out of her mouth, I handed her the bible and told her it was time.
It’s never too late to get right with God, I said, and He loves you even now. And He forgives.
I think I had been a Christian for only a couple of months, maybe a year at that point. I certainly wasn’t a pastor or a priest. But God chose me anyway to deliver His message of love, forgiveness, and mercy. And sitting in the waiting room, she asked God’s forgiveness for all she had done wrong in her life.
I held onto her hand as her eyes got wide with the idea that she could be forgiven.
Even for this? she said
Yes, even for this, I replied
It went on like that for quite a while as the tears continued to stream down her face. Then she turned and looked at me with a holy joy I had only ever read about but never seen.
I can die now in peace, she said
Melissa, I heard the nurse call
I hugged my new friend and went back to see the doctor.
I do not know how to explain this, but your numbers went back up. We don’t have to do the procedure. And you don’t have cancer, he said.
When he left the room, I was numb. But I wasn’t thinking about being cancer-free, or the inexplicable blood test results, I was thinking about my friend.
I burst through the door to the waiting room to see her, but she was already gone. Seeing the empty chair made me emotional, and I could not contain the tears that found their way down my face.
I cried because I knew she would be able to die in peace. I cried because I didn’t have cancer. I cried because my waiting was not waiting, it was a lesson in perseverance.
There are many times when we sit in the darkness of an agonizing wait and are tortured for the answers of God. But what if in fact we are not waiting, but instead pursuing.
Pursuing God’s will in our lives is an action in prayer. It is not stagnant or still, it is active and full. And in shifting our perspective on waiting, we can see ourselves as purposeful and present and fulfilling our mission to continually seek God’s will in all we do.
I’d live that year a million times over again knowing another soul would be free.
In your wait, continue to fill your time with the active seeking of God’s will. You may be physically stagnant but we are never stagnant in the Spirit when our hearts are actively seeking God. The only person waiting is the Lord. He is waiting on you.