For over 23 years, whenever I looked out the window of my office, I was able to see across the parking lot and into a field. That field, in addition to being used for hay and crops, was full of various kinds of wildlife. Over the past months, that field has been full of heavy equipment, as workers prepare the soil for a new housing addition to our west. It was fun to watch the earth be moved.
But, one day my sight was limited. Not because of my eyes, but because of an obstruction. The earthmovers had moved a bunch of dirt into a giant berm where the road used to be. So now, while I know work is still happening, I just can’t always see how. That’s a pretty good metaphor for where our family is these days.
A few weeks ago, my wife received a diagnosis of squamous cell carcinoma (aka. cancer) of her tongue. That diagnosis began a journey. We know it will involve a couple of surgeries (removal of the tumor and reconstruction of the parts removed), followed by pathology, recommended treatments, and a couple months of recovery and rehabilitation. But that’s about all we know at present.
The challenge for me is what all we don’t know. They don’t know how exactly big the tumor is until they do surgery. They don’t know exactly how much reconstruction will be necessary. They don’t know which treatments are necessary until they get the full pathology. They don’t know how long it will take to rehabilitate her tongue. And so, right now, we are in the waiting.
The waiting is like that giant berm. There is a limitation to what we can see. Even Doctors, who know a lot more than we do, don’t know fully. And so, we wait, knowing God is working, but unable to fully see how yet.
In the waiting, some scriptures have been on my heart…
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” (Proverbs 3.5)
“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” (Psalm 27:14)
“for we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5.7)
At present, there are a lot of things we don’t know. Maybe that’s the point: Faith in God is NOT about our understanding.
Faith isn’t a knowledge thing. If it were, then, in the information age, faith should be at an all time high. But, faith isn’t a knowledge thing–it’s a trust thing.
It’s about trusting God. And trust can be challenging. Especially for us type-A’s–who like lists, processes, steps, and having clear plans. Yet increasingly I find myself saying “God will work all that out…”
There are a whole lot of steps on this journey that we can’t see. And in truth, it’s probably best that way.
So, we wait. Though the waiting is never fun. It is the most necessary. For it is in the waiting where we most learn to trust Him.