Sunday, February 22, 2009

In God's Waiting Room

Sometimes when people ask us 'where are you these days?' we reply 'we are in God's waiting room'. This is not to be clever, just to state a fact. People with chronic health problems do spend a lot of time in waiting rooms - hospitals, doctors' surgeries, radiology departments, you name it and we've been there. They are such cold places - not because the central heating has broken down - but because people are feeling so nervous and often so unwell that they sit in silence (at least in the British culture) and almost dare you to say anything. The inevitable copies of yachting magazines and women's weeklys is about the only thing that breaks the monotony. It seems you wait for ages and then spend precious few minutes consulting with the person you need to see.

So why would I describe my experience as being in God's waiting room? Well, it's different there. In God's waiting room there are promises posted all around. 'Don't be afraid, I will be with you' and 'I am the Lord who heals you' are the type of thing. Then there are the warm and wonderful people who share the experience with you, people who are praying for you, who care about how you are feeling. Instead of mouldy mags there is the life-giving Word of God, and most amazing of all, there is constant free access to the top consultant Himself! The only thing that is the same, then, is the waiting.

The Bible says a lot about waiting. The Psalms are full of it. Look it up yourself and you'll find I'm right. God uses waiting not because He is overburdened with needs and cannot fit ours in, but because He wants to deal with our character and not just our condition. Who we are and not just how we are feeling is what is about to be operated upon.

So, we pray for patience to stay in God's waiting room for as long as He chooses. 'Wait, wait upon the Lord' is the choice we must make daily.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Here we go again!

I can't get rid of the phrase from my mind 'Led like a lamb to the slaughter'. I do hope it is not symbolic of problems to come! Anyhow, I have now been rebooked for major surgery here in Guernsey for Friday February 27th. This is now the third attempt to get this operation done, so I am really hoping it will go ahead ok and that all will go well.

Quite a few of my friends have been coping with disappointment recently too. It is so hard when you build yourself up to expect something and get everything ready and then all your plans fall through at the last minute. It is especially tough when the fault is not your own and you feel powerless to do anything about it. As I look back on my life, though, I know that I have grown more as a person through my disappointments than through my triumphs. There have been many more of them, of course, as triumphs seem few and far between. But there is no doubt that what I am today owes more to frustration than faith, and to loss rather than gain.

There is a remarkable passage at the end of Romans chapter 8 where Paul lists all the things that go wrong for us - things on earth or in heaven or under the earth etc. None of it, however frustrating, is able to seperate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. What's more, the writer describes those of us who face such overwhelming challenges as 'more than conquerors' through Christ's love.

So the last few weeks have been tough, and distinctly painful, but in God's economy they are not wasted. Here we go again then!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Cancelled at the last hurdle!

Oh boy am I mad! It was really hard to get to the winning post today only to be cancelled at the last minute. I had spent a rough night last night worrying about today and finally managed to brave the snow and ice (Diane driving the 4X4) to get to the hospital and was directed to a bed on the ward.

Diane went off to the funeral of an old friend and I settled down for the inevitable - only it wasn't inevitable. After more than two hours this blue uniformed matron arrived. She explained that as there was no Intensive Care Unit bed available for me to use they had no alternative but to CANCEL MY OPERATION! No date for the procedure - might find out more in the morning. Disappointed beyond words, I caught a taxi home.

I do realise that it is difficult to obtain beds in the very small ICU and that I will need one for up to 3 days after this op. I suppose one can only pray that one will become free very soon, and that the special anaesthetist and surgeon will both also be available on that day to do me. 'Hope deferred makes the heart sick' says the Bible and I agree!

Please join with us in prayer that this delay will be very short indeed and that it will not be long before I can have this much needed and long awaited surgery. Thanks.