Sometime in April 2009, I wrote the bulletin article below. It was a time when I wrestled and struggled with the health difficulties ever present in Cole’s life. Like every parent of a handicapped child, there were lots of implications and heartaches. Mine often took a spiritual direction.
Two weeks from today would have been Cole’s twenty-fourth birthday.
While I am glad he is now free from pain and struggle, I miss him so.
And, as it turns out, I still need to be reminded of the last few paragraphs I wrote what seems like so very long ago…
I Am Waiting
I will admit it. I don’t understand.
Sometimes my not understanding leads me to anger and sometimes to despair.
Truthfully, there are also times—more numerous than I want to admit where my not understanding leads me to a numbness of the soul where my spirituality isn’t really alive and vital—more of a going through the motions.
And yes, the theologian in me likes to think I do know the answer, but the answer I know—intellectually—isn’t always very satisfying emotionally, spiritually, and physically.
And it’s not like I don’t pray. And it’s not like it’s beyond God’s ability to answer my specific prayers in ways that would astound the world and give him all the glory.
Maybe you understand what I mean from your own unique perspective. However, my perspective is for our son, Cole.
I don’t understand why he has to go through 19 years of life with all of the difficulties, frustrations, and challenges he faces.
I don’t understand why we have to go through test after test and can’t seem to get any definitive answer.
I don’t understand why God doesn’t see fit to heal him completely…now.
I don’t understand why our prayers for his anger and out-of-control behavior seem as if they never rise above the roof.
I don’t understand why it seems at times we cannot get a single moment of peace.
Theologically, I understand sickness, disease, and death are by-products of living in a broken world.
Theologically, I understand the question isn’t “why me” but “why not me.”
Spiritually, emotionally, and physically, I am tired of that answer. But I am waiting. And as I wait, I pray that my attitude, actions, and life will reflect the words of John Waller’s song…
I’m waiting I’m waiting on You, Lord And I am hopeful I’m waiting on You, Lord Though it is painful But patiently, I will wait I will move ahead, bold and confident Taking every step in obedience While I’m waiting I will serve You While I’m waiting I will worship While I’m waiting I will not faint I’ll be running the race Even while I wait
In Mark 9, Jesus is presented with a healing opportunity—a boy with an evil spirit. As he talks with the boy’s father, Jesus says “Everything is possible for him who believes.” And the father’s answer has to be mine, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
I am waiting, Lord, sometimes impatiently, sometimes angrily, sometimes with a deep, deep numbness. But I am waiting. Help me over come my waiting that really isn’t.
May God help each of us move through life bold and confident, even when we are waiting…