Monday morning I buried myself in a book called Don't Waste the Pain by David Lyons and Linda Lyons Richardson. In a cozy corner of the surgical waiting room, while Daniel had some dental work done that required him to be put under anesthesia.
It seemed like a good book to take along while I waited, in an environment filled with anxious family members, white lab coats and calls for Code Blue.
“It's not about what happens to you; it's about how you respond.”
“Am I so sick of hypocrisy and inconsistencies in my life that joy rises in my heart when I see God doing surgery on me?”
“What gifts do you think God may be trying to give you through pain?”
“What impossible thing are you willing to believe God can handle?”
“Pain is always an invitation to something you cannot see at the moment.”
“The world tells us that beauty thrives in the absence of pain, when everything is going smoothly. That can be true. But sometimes the truest form of beauty, the kind produced by authentic love, is reserved for life's most painful circumstances. The most beautiful person who ever lived left heaven to wade right into the pain of this world. Look at how he introduced himself:
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,
Because the Lord has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”
(Isaiah 61:1-3, NKJV)
Last night I had a few hours of quiet at home while Charly and the kids were at Vacation Bible School, and I came across this powerful song by Danny Gokey: Tell Your Heart to Beat Again. Then I listened to his testimony of losing his wife in a heart surgery that had a 90% survival rate. Sometimes the news we receive in the waiting room is devastating. But we can go on and find a new beginning...
Like you've never been before.
The life you knew in a thousand pieces on the floor.
Words fall short in times like these.
This world drives you to your knees
You think you're never going to get back to the you that used to be.
Tell your heart to beat again...
Just let that word wash over you
Its all right now.
Love's healing hands have pulled you through
So get back up
Take step one
Leave the darkness, feel the sun
Cause your story's far from over and your journey's just begun...
Let every heartbreak and every scar
Be a picture that reminds you who has carried you this far.
Cause Love sees farther than you ever could
In this moment heaven's working everything for your good...
Say good bye to where you've been and tell your heart to beat again.
I also spent some time last night listening to this beautiful song by my friend since 5th grade,Travis Cottrell: You Will Redeem It All. Another new favorite.
I have this hope as an anchor for my soul.
You will redeem it all.
Out of the dust into something glorious.
You are here in the middle of my circumstance.
You are here bringing purpose out of pain
You are here restoring every broken path
Speaking life, You raise me once again.
Nothing is hidden from your eyes.
Out of the ashes I will rise...
Hallelujah in the waiting
Hallelujah even then
Hallelujah for the healing
You will make a way again
Sometimes Jesus lingers as He did when Lazarus was sick. But always with a reason: "Through waiting we become more aware of God and ourselves. As we grow in God-awareness and self-awareness, we sense something happening to us. This is the slow work of transformation that cannot be sped up by Jesus showing up any earlier than what has been orchestrated..." (The Lazarus Life, Stephen W. Smith)
And sometimes Jesus walks away as he did in Mark 1, from all those who were desperate for His healing: "Yes, Jesus could have healed all the broken legs, ear infections, strep throat, breast cancers, and indigestion that was coughed up before him. But that would only have been a temporal healing. It wouldn't have healed their relationship with God. Jesus wanted more for them. He wanted to rescue them from their sin, not just from sickness. He wanted to restore their souls and put them back in relationship with his Father." (When God Doesn't Fix It, Laura Story)
In the waiting room of our lives He is with us. And He is for us. And He has plans for good that we can't always see and may take time to believe. So even in the midst of helplessness and brokenness and prayers that feel unanswered, we can hold on to His outstretched hand. We can rest in His embrace. And know that He can bring a deeper healing than we had ever believed possible.
Because His invitation, in our waiting, is always to Trust Him.
Older posts on Waiting:
Waiting for the Wind
Wanting to Wait Well
It is Here
Waiting as an Offering
Your Waiting Presence
When the Door Won't Open
(Linking up with Velvet Ashes this week on the theme of Wait)