God’s Timing – Steve Swaffer
Our Preacher has taught us the need to “Get out of the driver’s seat” and let God drive. Many times we get in a hurry and want to see things happen, but if we are wise we will “wait on the Lord” and patiently let His timing prevail.
When Becky went off to college in search of her “Mrs.” degree, she had a few obstacles in the way. You see, when she enrolled in Hyles-Anderson College, I had already been a student there for two years before she arrived. Before I graduated, Matt had enrolled also, so Becky always had at least one brother around to run off potential suitors.
In spite of this handicap, Becky did date, and eventually had a good “prospect” or two along the way. However, each time it seemed that the Holy Spirit-sometimes through Dad-said, “No, that is not the right one.”
In time she left college without her “Mrs.” degree and returned home to get involved in the church Mom and Dad were attending. (Dad felt led to ‘retire’ from pastoring while she was at college.) When she later met Dave, began dating and then eventually married him, it was obvious to those of us who knew her that her patience had been greatly rewarded.
As she began to raise her family, Mom and Dad were proud and thankful to have such a tremendous son-in-law, and even her brothers began to accept and appreciate this intruder.
Yet the true measure of her treasure was not revealed until after the day the doctor spoke that dreaded word, cancer. As Becky began the grueling series of radiation and chemotherapy treatments, it seemed that Dave had no concern for himself. His only concern was Becky-he truly loved her as his own body. Though I am sure Dave faced and fought many different emotions during that time, he never got angry with God nor did he ever seek pity for himself.
As her brother watching from 500 miles away, it was a great comfort to me to know that she had a husband who was doing everything humanly possible to care for my sister. Dad also expressed to me how much it meant for him to have a son-in-law like Dave at a time like this.
It was very easy now, to see the wisdom of waiting for God’s timing. Late in March of 2006 we got word that Becky had just weeks to live, and could slip into a coma in as little as 2 weeks. Suddenly, priorities changed and my family quickly headed to Michigan to spend some time with Becky. Matt and Paul were also able to come, and the four of us were able to spend a precious evening together reminiscing. It was at this time that the picture on the home page was taken-the first time in years (and the last until were reunite in heaven) the four of us were able to all be together.
Too soon we had to return to our jobs and other responsibilities, I left Michigan knowing I had seen my sister alive for the last time. Shortly after returning home, I began to feel that I should try to be with Mom and Dad when Becky went Home. After all, they had sacrificed and rearranged their schedule so many times for each of us kids it seemed the least I could do. But how could I know when to go? I only had so much vacation time and the only one that knows when a person will take their last breathe is our God and so I asked our Preacher (Pastor Larry Brown) to pray that God would allow me to be with Mom and Dad at that time.
Earlier that spring I had injured my ankle, and injury that seemingly would not heal. As I sought treatment I asked my doctor if getting off it for time would help and he thought it might. I was able to arrange to take a medical leave of absence starting on May 9th. I headed to Michigan that morning to spend a few days with Mom, Dad and Becky not knowing when I would return to Iowa or if Becky would still be living when I did. I knocked on my sister’s door for the last time at about 4:15 that afternoon. Mom (who had no idea I was coming) answered the door and hugged me. To my query, “How are you doing?” she answered, “Not too well, this may be her last day.” As I walked past the room where Becky lay, I saw a sight that will forever be etched in my mind. As Becky lay there taking labored breaths, Dave was by her side loving her and talking gently to her though she could not respond. Again, I was reminded of the beauty of God’s timing allowing her to meet and marry Dave.
Of course you know that around 8:00 that evening Becky went Home. At this writing, Becky has been exploring the streets of gold for less than six months. At this time the reasons for Becky’s “early” homegoing are not evident. It is far easier to see God’s timing in the relatively minor injury I faced last spring. Though at times I was frustrated at what seemed to be an unnecessary burden, it is easy now to see God’s hand. The fact that I do not understand God’s timing does not diminish the accuracy or wisdom of His timing. People often say that though we do not understand, someday we will.
During a conversation the week after Becky’s funeral, Dad said to me, “I am not sure that when we get to heaven we will even want to know, ‘Why?”. I guess it is human nature, but the older I get the more I realize Dad’s wisdom-and it seems that Dad is still learning how wise his Heavenly Father is. All of us would do well to learn from Becky’s example as she sought her “Mrs.” degree and just wait on the Lord’s perfect timing.
Isaiah 40:31 “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles. They shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”