I recently spent time at the hospital visiting a friend. Cancer is a respecter of no one and straddling the precipice between life and death is a difficult place to be. I gave comfort in places where I could- cool towels to flushed faces, warm hugs to grieving hearts, and prayers for strength. When I returned home I wept at the scene I had left. Suffering is hard to bear.
It wasn’t long before sorrow soon stirred up memories of the time I had spent at my father’s bedside as he died. He had chosen to forego any more medical treatment and so we waited. The final three days of his life were so precious and yet so agonizing. But later when my tears had dried I remembered that “Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning, great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” Lamentations 3:22-24
At times, waiting seems too hard- waiting for the pain to stop, waiting for healing, even waiting for death. Yet it is clear to me that waiting is what I am called to do. It is what I do with that time between petition and provision that allows me to be transformed. Even when I do not see the answer at hand I must lean into the Father’s arms knowing that new mercies are poured out on me morning upon morning. And in the deep well of the LORD’s compassion I can draw my strength.
A seed does not grow into a flower overnight. When it’s planted into the ground the time before it sprouts remains a mystery. I cannot see the root pushing through the soil to gather nutrients. Before the tender green stem sprouts through the ground I have no knowledge of it. I can only have faith that the soil in which it is planted is rich and warm with life. It is in the time of waiting between planting and sprouting that the seed is transformed. Oh Lord, let me be transformed in the places where I must wait! Let me draw from your fertile soil of love and compassion to be the woman you have called me to be. And when the waiting is hard, remind me Holy Spirit that your steadfast love is never changing and new every morning.