I had a dream a few weeks ago. I went to an A & W restaurant and ordered food for myself and friends at the counter. The girl said they would bring it to me when it was ready. Instead of tables and chairs, the restaurant had beds (hey, it was a dream). Since I felt tired I lay down and took a nap. It seemed like a long nap, but when my order was ready I got up and went to pay for it with a credit card. That’s when I discovered a $50 bill in my wallet I didn’t realize I had. It easily covered the cost.
An ordinary kind of dream, but I felt like I should pay attention, so I wrote it down in my dream journal. As I did I remembered that when I was a teenager, with a brand new driver’s license, my friends and I would borrow Daddy’s car and go to the drive-in where the car-hops wore brown and orange parkas – the A & W. We jokingly called it “The Ask and Wait,” although the service was probably faster than most other places. I made a note in my journal and promptly forgot about it, until a few days ago.
Right after this dream my dear friend suddenly became critically ill with a perforated ulcer (a hole in her stomach). She said it was the most painful thing she had ever experienced. I rushed back from Alberta to be with her. The first emergency surgery looked like a success, but it wasn’t. Instead of being released from hospital after a few days, she landed in ICU with complications and then found out, when she tried to eat some apple sauce, that the hole was still there. After several unpleasant invasive procedures the plan was to wait. So she waited. We prayed and she waited some more.
The hole was still there. I felt so badly for her laying in bed, unable to eat, hooked up to I.V.s and various uncomfortable tubes, watching room mates arrive, recover and leave. Then I remembered the dream -ask and wait, and you might as well get a good rest while you’re waiting. So her friends and husband and I prayed and asked the Lord for healing, and waited together, and learned to rest in God’s love. (She was better at it than I was, but I wasn’t sedated.)
Finally doctors proposed a more drastic surgery that would remove part of her stomach and intestine and scheduled another surgery. After it was postponed due to other emergencies with priority for the O.R., one of the specialists ordered another test to check on the size of the hole. This time the message was good: no hole found. It had closed “on its own.”
I think finding the $50 in my wallet was about finding unearned provision -God’s grace when we needed it.
Learning to rest in the middle of trouble is not a natural response for me -nor is shouting for joy. My upbringing valued decorum more highly than emotional expression. I’m more likely to fold my program into smaller and smaller squares at an exciting sports event than I am to actually cheer out loud. My friend’s Norwegian reserve is even greater than my Anglo/Germanic decorum (although I have seen her dance in the aisles on occasion) but we celebrated with shouts of joy that would not disturb the patient in the next bed -and gave thanks on American Thanksgiving with a feast of blue jello.
Thank you, Lord!
Permit me some joyful cyber-shouting: GOD IS GOOD!!!!!
One generation commends your works to another;
they tell of your mighty acts.
They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty—
and I will meditate on your wonderful works.
They tell of the power of your awesome works—
and I will proclaim your great deeds.
They celebrate your abundant goodness
and joyfully sing of your righteousness.
Ask and wait. He is faithful.