by Dale Reeves

Story Pastor


This past Monday night, my mother-in-law Nancy (whom I call my “favorite” mother-in-law), had her third lumbar laminectomy and spinal fusion surgery within the past three years. Watching her go through the pain and recovery process that has accompanied these surgeries has been tough to watch for her whole family. She has had to endure a lot of pain this year and we all just want to see her recover as quickly and completely as possible. She has spent many days waiting for the extreme pain to go away, waiting to get better, waiting to get “back to normal,” not having to be waited on hand and foot by everyone in her family.


We were very grateful that the hospital worked her into their emergency schedule Monday night, which meant the surgery would be later in the day. As a result, when the surgeon texted Nancy’s family to meet with them after the surgery, we found ourselves in the usually-crowded family waiting room all by ourselves. The surgery was over an hour before the doctor had predicted it would be. He was done sooner than expected. So, when the surgeon texted my brother-in-law and asked us to meet him in the family waiting room, we all wondered what that meant. Was he not able to do everything he had anticipated? Did the operation not go as smoothly as we had hoped? Was my mother-in-law going to be OK? Or did the surgery go so well without any complications, that this accounted for the shorter time frame? These and other questions like them fill your mind when you have several hours to wait on the outcome of a serious surgical procedure.


Ever been there? You try to pass the time thinking and talking about other things, trying to distract your nervous mind from dwelling on other possibilities. The good news is that when the surgeon came to talk with the family, he gave us an excellent report of how the surgery went. The prognosis for recovery is good. My favorite mother-in-law will have a long road ahead, but we are grateful for the outcome this past Monday.


I Want it Now!



I don’t know anyone who likes waiting.


Just the other day I pulled in a drive-thru line at a fast-food restaurant that shall remain nameless. I sat there for a few minutes then decided I didn’t have enough time to wait, so I pulled out of the line and went on to a less-crowded line in another fast-food establishment.


My good friend, David Olshine, says in his book, The Mystery of Silence:


“We want quick results, instant gratification, and fast relief. We live in a culture of instant facts, trivia, newscast, sports news, and Twitter posts. The endless information available on our phones keeps us preoccupied. We go to and order our toothbrushes, grill cleaner, vitamins . . . They arrive quickly. When there is a delay, we get frustrated. Why is it taking so long to arrive? . . . Google something, and you can get the answer in seconds. We want God to do the same: ‘I need you Lord, now!’ We want immediacy!”


In his book, David goes on to share four essentials for us to help us get a grip on patiently waiting on God, based on James 1:1-5:


  1. Train your brain to see trials as a gift and to be patient in the waiting.
  2. Don’t bail when things get hard—persevere, knowing that God is producing endurance in you.
  3. Keep on growing, realizing that God is working behind the scenes on your maturing process.
  4. Ask for wisdom, seeking God’s perspective on your circumstances, knowing he promises to give it to you when you ask.


Wanna know more? Check out this helpful book on getting perspective on waiting while God seems silent: The Mystery of Silence


Waiting Isn’t Easy

In the mid-1900s, self-taught theologian, fearless preacher, and gifted writer Aiden Wilson Tozer felt that the church was on a dangerous course towards compromising with worldly concerns. He said, “It is dangerous to be so busy that you have no time to wait on God.” Another time he stated,

“The great test of faith is to wait on God . . . not expecting to push a button and get whatever we want now.”


Often in the Psalms, the psalmist exclaims, “I will wait for You,” and I have prayed those words many times with God . . . but I don’t really like it. I don’t really want to wait. The Hebrew word qavah (pronounced kaw-vah) means to “wait actively with anticipation, to look for, to lie in wait for.” It means to wait in hopeful expectation of watching God act. In English our word “wait” is often passive. We might wait for a license renewal at the BMV, or wait six feet behind someone at a grocery store. But the Hebrew word used all throughout the Old Testament isn’t a sitting-on-your-hands-twiddling-your-thumbs-scrolling-through-your-smartphone kind of waiting, testing your patience as you passively watch the clock. This biblical kind of waiting is active, eager, hopeful, expectant, and God-honoring.


The prophet Isaiah proclaims that this kind of waiting mounts up, runs, and walks!

“Have you not known? Have you not heard?

The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.

Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:28-31, ESV).


A number of Psalms express this kind of hopeful waiting.

I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope. I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning” (Psalm 130:5, 6, NIV).


“I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord” (Psalm 27:13, 14, NASB).


So, whether you are in a waiting room today, waiting on a medical prognosis, waiting to pick up your kids from school, waiting on the spouse you hope God sends your way, waiting for God to bring a baby into your home, waiting on an Uber or DoorDash, or waiting for paint to dry, just know that even though we hate to wait, God’s timing is always perfect.


May the lyrics of this song wash over you today:


“Broken I run to You for Your arms are open wide;

I am weary but I know Your touch restores my life.

So I wait for You, So I wait for You.

I’m falling on my knees offering all of me.

Jesus, You’re all this heart is living for.”

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