We all wait for results.
As children, we wait to find out the results of a test. How did we score? As adults, we might wait to find out the results of a job interview, or an application for a credit card or perhaps a home loan.
Other words for “result” might be “consequence” or “outcome.”
Where do we stand? How do we stack up? What is our status? Everyone waits for results. Everyone knows what it feels like to sit there and wait. Meanwhile your heat beats. Meanwhile the sun inches across the sky. Meanwhile the entire world keeps on chugging away. And you wait …
My wife and I sat in the tiny room at the doctor’s office. We were waiting to hear the results. We were waiting to find out how bad the cancer was … or was not. Tick-tock. Tick-tock. My tests – a CT Scan and a Bone Scan – had been completed. I had the “films” of both scans, but the images meant nothing to me. We were waiting for the doctor to give us “the news.”
I thought about other times when I had waited for results with my wife. Three pregnancy tests and three ultrasound exams – and three boys. Twenty plus years later we again waited to hear the results of tests and ultrasound exams – and now we have four grandchildren. Life evolving. The family growing. Excitement. Anticipation.
Some results are fun and simple and relaxing. Like watching a football game and waiting for the referees to review the touchdown. Will your team get favorable results? What will be the outcome?
Or how about standing on a grassy hill, waiting for your soon-to-be daughter-in-law to crest the hill. Will she be ahead of all the other runners? Will she look strong?
Results always seem to involve a period of waiting. Sometimes you wait in a room. Sometimes you wait by the phone. Sometimes you wait on a hillside. Results will bring news. Good news or not-so-good news. Results will bring the possibility of change. Results bring a score, and that score affects your next moment, and sometimes it affects your whole life.
We sat. We waited. The word “cancer” floated in the air all around us. How bad was it? We knew it was there (no doubt about that). But how nasty was it? How aggressive? How … lethal?
And then, at last, the door opened and the doctor was there. Smiling. “I’m sorry for the wait,” he said. “I’ll be another five minutes.” A big smile. “But I have good news for you,” he said. “Just wanted to give you a teaser.” And just like that, he was gone again.
A partial result only. Two words. But those two words had such power! Good news! Those two words gave us instant hope. Those two words flooded the room. My wife hugged me. I closed my eyes. Good news! Two of the most glorious words in all of the English language.
I thought about the men and women who have waited in tiny rooms for a doctor to give them news, to tell them the results, only to learn that the news was not good and that the results were not favorable. How did they process that information? How did they carry it? Those men and women knew - immediately - that their lives would never be the same. How did they cope?
It is in those dark moments that God's promise can suddenly become powerful. "I am with you always. Even until the end."
There is no better promise than that. And the promise is available to us all, no matter what kind of results or circumstances we might be facing. Good news or bad news. "I am with you" means ... I am with you.
The doctor came back. Closed the door. Sat down. "There are two kinds of prostate cancer," he said. "Treatable and curable, and treatable and non-curable."
We stared at him. He was smiling. Beaming. I could not help but wonder how many times he sat in small rooms and delivered bad news. Life-changing news. Unimaginable news. But he had given us a teaser. He had said "good" news. I held my breath. I thanked God, not just for being with me until the end, but for the gift of good news. Good results. Hope.
"Your cancer," said the doctor. "Is curable."