We Wait for God

When my husband was in the hospital, he would sometimes refer to it as a “hotel.” After all, he had breakfast in bed every morning and a call bell to ring for whatever he might need day or night. At other times he would refer to it as a “prison.” He couldn’t leave when he wanted, and all of his time was controlled by the hospital system—one night he was just settling down to sleep, when he was suddenly whisked away for xrays at 10 p.m.

But finally after six long weeks in the hotel-prison-hospital, he was finally released to come home!! We had been expecting it for days, but something always seemed to come up: he needed just one more procedure, then xrays to confirm the procedure, one day his blood pressure was too low, some days one doctor would say he had “no problem” with my husband going home, but another doctor on the team would want to wait.

So we waited—and waited—and waited some more.

“Good thing you’re such a patient person,” some said in our circle of support. But I’m not so patient, I thought to myself. I was on a roller coaster of emotions, delighted in the morning at the thought of my husband being home, then disappointed when the decision was made to wait one more day. I was anxious to have him home as soon as possible, but when the doctors finally gave the all clear, I was anxious about that too. Was he really ready to come home? Or would something else come up to delay his release one more time?

These last weeks have reminded me that waiting is not only for those who are patient. Waiting is also for the impatient, for the stressed and distressed, for those riding a roller coaster of ups and downs. And now that my husband is home, I realize that in many ways the waiting continues: waiting for more test results, waiting for follow-up appointments. For us waiting has become a way of life.

In this pandemic, waiting has become a way of life for all of us. We wait to hear the latest COVID news,  to find out the latest health orders and how they might affect us. We wait our turn at the grocery store, standing on physically distant circles marked on the floor. We wait for the time when we won’t have to do these things, when we won’t have to stay at home and keep other people out.

My church is waiting for the time when we might once again worship together in person as a congregation. With the start of the Advent season, we’re waiting to light another candle each week as we count the Sundays until Christmas. We’re singing songs of anticipation and waiting until Christmas to sing the full-fledged Christmas carols.

Image by Vitali Kalasouski from Pixabay

In Scripture, the Psalms are also full of waiting. At various times, the psalmists speak of waiting for guidance (Psalm 25), for deliverance from enemies (Psalm 27), for healing (Psalm 38), for wisdom and forgiveness (Psalm 39), for help (Psalm 40), for morning and redemption (Psalm 130). And whatever the particular circumstances of their waiting, in all things, the psalmists clearly “wait for the Lord” (e.g., Psalm 27:14; 37:7, 9, 34; 40:1; 130:5-6).

So too in our waiting today—whether we’re waiting for Christmas, waiting for the pandemic to end, waiting more personally for a loved one to come home—whatever we’re waiting for in our families and in the world, in a larger sense we’re also waiting for God.

We wait for God’s power to protect and provide for us. We wait for God’s presence to sustain us. We wait for God’s mercy to bring us safely home.

Wait for the Lord;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord!
Psalm 27:14

Writing/Reflection Prompt: What are you waiting for?

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19 thoughts on “We Wait for God

  1. Thanks so much April, So good that Gary can be home again. I am going to read all the Psalms you mentioned today for sure. Love to you and Gary!

  2. Since I read your last Post, April, I can sympathize with you in a different way, My husband, Hardy, had emergency surgery on Wednesday morning due to a twisted hernia and a blocked intestine.He received immediate and wonderful care at the hospital and is now at home recuperating. Praise be to God for a friend (a nurse) who advised us to go to the hospital at once. He came home Friday and is doing well. So thankful! Let’s keep each other in our prayers!

    1. Oh my, Elfrieda, I’m sorry that Hardy needed emergency surgery, but so glad to hear that he is home and doing well. It’s good that you followed your friend’s advice so he could get attention right away. And yes. let’s keep each other in our prayers!

  3. I mentioned in a comment a few days ago that my husband was also in the hospital. He is home again, thankfully. He is also a writer, and his thoughts on his stay in the hospital can be found at Hopewit.Blogspot.com
    So happy your husband is home as well. May he continue on his journey to complete recovery.

    1. Thank you for sharing, Agnes. I appreciated your husband’s account of his hospital sojourn, and am grateful that he is home again. All the best to you both on this journey of recovery!

  4. Thank you April for your last days at the hospital and the tension.Hope you can relax together now.

    1. The first few days were quite busy, Frank – getting used to a new meal plan, booking follow-up appointments, etc., but we’re finding a new rhythm now and treasuring every moment.

  5. I hate to wait, yet waiting is required of Christians. Yes, and waiting through suffering often yields “the peaceable fruit of righteousness.” May Advent for you both be pain-free and blessed with peace. My earnest hope!

  6. “Good thing you’re such a patient person,” OH! In retrospect that sounds like such an insensitive thing to write! So sorry! Maybe just a simple “I” statement would have been much better (?) For example: “I couldn’t be that patient with those doctors and nurses who repeatedly get (y)our hopes up and then repeatedly dash them!” (And then maybe more accurately what I meant by ACTING “patiently”: “Good thing you haven’t yelled at them, which is what I want(ed) to do!” Or maybe always better to leave any “you” messages out, entirely, so just: “I would have wanted to yell at them!” Or maybe that would come across as too self-entered? So maybe just a more reflective “We are waiting with you.” (?) As you said, “not easy to find the right words to express our love and care”!

    Just VERY glad that Gary is home.

    1. Oh, no need to apologize at all! I’ve had a number of people tell me the very same thing in these last weeks and in previous situations – so much so that I wonder if maybe I’m more patient than I think I am! Or that being patient doesn’t necessarily mean sailing through unscathed, but can be more a matter of patient endurance. Either way, I’m getting lots of practice! And I SO appreciate the support – THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!

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