"And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit,
groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies." Romans 8:23
On August 26, Mary and I received a phone call around 2:30 pm that my dad had collapsed on the golf course and was taken to the hospital. Dad was on the eastern shore of MD, playing in a golf tournament in Cambridge. When we got the call, we didn't know if it was a heart attack, a stroke, or anything else. I remember pacing our living room crying out to God in prayer as Mary began to pack our bags. There were so many unknowns, but Mary and I knew we wanted to get to Maryland. We got in the car and started on our 10 hour trip from Boston to Baltimore.
Not long after we had left Boston, we got a call that the hospital had run scans and found five tumors in my dad's brain. The collapse on the golf course had been a seizure caused by the tumors. In the hours and days that followed, we discovered that lung cancer had spread to my dad's brain.
We arrived at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore around 1:30 am. Dad was sedated and on a ventilator in the ICU. My mom and two sisters were there, and since we were only allowed two people in the room at a time, we set up camp in the waiting room and took shifts sitting with Dad through the night.
I've spent a lot of time in waiting rooms. They aren't all that comfortable. The seats are awkward. The walls are plain. The temperature never feels just right. Waiting rooms are thick with fear. You can almost feel the anxiety in the air. Waiting rooms are a most unpleasant place... because in a waiting room we are forced to wait. In the waiting room, we have no control over the future. It is in the waiting room that we realize that we have no power over life, that we have no control over death. It is in the waiting room that we are forced to recognize the frailty of our humanity.
And it is in the waiting room that we are forced to hope.
Some will try to wish. They will try to wish away the past. They will wish for things to work out in the future. They will spend their time in the waiting room wishing that things will work out. But wishing only leaves us wanting...
And so it is hope that sustains us. It is hope that our God "in whose hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind" (Job 12:10)... that he is in control. It is hope that though we sit in the waiting room powerless, our trust is in the power and wisdom of our Father in heaven. It is hope that one day suffering will be no more, and our frail bodies will be redeemed. It hope that "neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:38-39).
It is in the waiting room that my hope... not my wish... sustains me.
My dad is now undergoing chemotherapy and radiation for the cancer. It's a journey of ups and downs. It is full of pain. It is full of unknowns.
And so we wait... but not without hope.
The Frey Life
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"May those who fear you rejoice when they see me, for I have put my hope in your word." Psalm 119:74