August 31, 2022
What To Do in the Waiting
Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving (Colossians 4:2 ESV).
Friend to Friend
Today has not gone as planned.
I’m sitting here in the middle of a Barnes and Noble café waiting.
You see, about three hours ago, we dropped our tiny, eleven-pound dog off at the oncologist to find out about a tumor that is growing larger and larger on her neck. They decided to keep her for the day to try to figure out what is going on with her little body.
They are doing scans.
They are taking samples.
They are sending things to labs.
They are running tests.
And if you are not an animal lover, none of these emotions will make sense to you.
The fear of what if…
But if you’ve loved an animal so much that you’ve considered making deals with God, even exchanging years of your life for years of your furry friend, you’ll get it. (As if that’s how our loving God works…)
We’ve been on this journey for weeks. Finding out bits of information, and then waiting and waiting for the next appointment, the next test result, the next anything to find out what the next step is.
So many of us have been there, stuck in the waiting. And sometimes the loved one you are waiting for doesn’t have fur. I’ve been there too.
It’s hard to feel helpless. To feel like there is nothing you can do to help the one you love. I’ve had to figure out what to do in this time of waiting.
As we’ve been going through this crisis, I’ve realized how easy it has been to slip into worry during the longest parts of the wait. I am not a worrier by nature, but when someone I love is hurting, I can suddenly become a professional, 24/7 catastrophizer.
But God has a different plan than worrying for us while we’re in a waiting season.
Here is my simple checklist, based on Colossians 4:2 (ESV): “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.”
1. We’ve prayed diligently. My husband and I have spent a lot of time praying together and on our own for our little girl’s health. We’ve prayed for open doors and wisdom for the doctors. We’ve prayed for the receptionists and the medical techs. We’ve prayed for every step of the process.
2. We’ve asked others for prayer. We know that God loves to hear our prayers. We are also comforted by knowing that so many others are praying for us and our sweet and spicy girl. It helps to know we are not alone.
3. We’ve kept kicking the can down the road. All this means is to keep the process moving forward where you can. Each day we’ve called specialists to try to get appointments, sent reports to other specialists, followed up on leads, and coordinated with her regular doctor. We’ve done all the practical things we know how to do to take care of our girl.
4. We’ve thanked God in the midst of it all. During this difficult time, there is still much to thank God for:
- Modern medicine and the doctors that have made advances.
- A great veterinary medical center only a couple hours away.
- People in the world who dedicate their time, education and talents to taking care of dogs like ours.
- The means, at least for the foreseeable future, to get help.
- Lots of people in our lives who love us and Moose, who are willing to root for her and pray for her.
These gifts are not small. And we are grateful for each one of them.
We need to faithfully hold the tension between hope-filled prayer and a posture of thanksgiving. As we align our heart with God’s, it becomes more bearable to sit in both places.
Dear Lord, I pray You will be so near to me in times of waiting. Remind me that I am never, ever waiting alone. Help me hold the tension of hopeful prayer and thanksgiving in my hand and my heart. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
How can you find peace in the waiting? What are some of the verses you turn to when answers feel slow?
More from the Girlfriends
Have you reached the point where one more thing on your to-do list is one too many? Do you find yourself praying, "Lord, I don't think I can handle any more stuff?"
Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory have been there. They want to encourage you, but even more important, they offer helpful solutions to make your everyday life easier. Get good advice on how to plan ahead, set boundaries with others and yourself, and be more intentional about self-care without the guilt.
© 2022 by Kathi Lipp. All rights reserved.
Originally published Wednesday, 31 August 2022.