My family is a little weird. My dad found great delight in aggravating others, particularly his wife and his children. He had a rough manner about him for the most part, but had a playful side as well. He enjoyed tickling us til we hurt, and hiding in a closet or behind a tree in order to jump out and “scare the liver” out of us when we least expected it. (As a child I wasn’t sure what my liver was or why I needed it, but was quite certain that he had been successful in removing it if heart rate and inability to breathe were indicators.) For many years I saw my mother as completely innocent of these frightful events, until one day I realized that it was she who sent us walking to my grandmother’s for something needed just as the sun was setting…..hmmmm….. I can’t speak for my siblings, but in the end it gave me a good laugh. It may have taken days, but at some point it became funny to me.
Now the 5 children my parents produced inherited a bit of this weird sense of humor. (I must admit I found it fun to tickle my children til they hurt, and still get a kick out of jumping from around a door or corner at some poor, unsuspecting soul in my house.) We find the strangest things funny sometimes. When my siblings and I get together it comes out – the weird things we will make jokes about.
Growing up, I don’t remember a lot of serious conversations taking place at our house. Oh, I’m quite sure my parents had them with each other. But apart from a lecture to a child that may have occurred over some disobedient act, there weren’t a lot of “life lessons” that were verbally taught. They lived their lives before us the best they knew how, and trusted we would learn from their example. My father grew up hard, and combining that with his distinct personality, we didn’t “talk” about things that were emotional or awkward or scary. Even when trouble came.
Fast forward many years and you find us all grown up and at the hospital with my mother in surgery. It’s serious and the doctors aren’t sure when they take her away all that will need to be done. We are with my dad in the waiting room. At some point in the conversations it came out that my dad had recently gone to the doctor for a check up. The doctor checked his throat, nose, and ears, and based on that simple exam, told him he may have Alzheimer’s. And that’s when the jokes started. I don’t remember what we said, or why we thought it was so funny, but we did. We laughed til our sides hurt and the tears were rolling. We were repeatedly shhh’d by the staff, and misunderstood by other families. But it’s how we cope. I don’t think one word was ever spoken in fear that mom wouldn’t make it through the surgery. We were there with our father, waiting and laughing, having our own little party! The power of our unspoken love and much laughter kept us strong and drove the fear away.
I’ve taken a strange road to get to my point today: Are you in a waiting room? Are you waiting on God for a prayer to be answered, a relationship restored, a situation reversed? What are you doing while you wait?
Isaiah 30:18 says “Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are all those who earnestly wait for Him, who expect and look and long for Him – for His victory, His favor, His love, His peace, His joy, and His matchless, unbroken fellowship!”
Waiting on God involves expectation of good! And there can be blessings IN the waiting! Fear and doubt get replaced by anticipation of His love, His joy, His peace. Our Heavenly Father is with us while we wait, working on our behalf so that the answer is perfectly orchestrated in our lives at just the right time. The beginning of that same verse says that “the Lord waits – expecting, looking, and longing – to be gracious to us”! Laugh while you wait! God made you in His image, and I believe He loves a good laugh with his children!
My mom made it through the surgery, and my dad really did have Alzheimer’s. We laughed and joked with him as long as we could because it brought us great joy to see him smile. And I’m quite sure that he and God are in heaven now having a good chuckle about their kids!