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Posts Tagged ‘waiting’

To wait is to learn the spiritual grace of detachment, the freedom of desire. Not the absence of desire, but desire at rest. St. John of the Cross lamented that “the desires weary and fatigue the soul; for they are like restless and discontented children, who are ever demanding this or that from their mother, and are never contented.” Detachment is coming to the place where those demanding children are at peace. As King David said, “I have stilled and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me” (Ps. 131:2). Such a compelling picture.

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Today the word detachment creates unhelpful impressions.

It is not a cold and indifferent attitude; not at all. May writes, “An authentic spiritual understanding of detachment devalues neither desire nor the objects of desire.” Instead, it “aims at correcting one’s own anxious grasping in order to free oneself for committed relationship to God.”

As Thomas à Kempis declared, “Wait a little while, O my soul, wait for the divine promise, and thou shalt have abundance of all good things in heaven.” In this posture we discover that, indeed, we are expanded by longing. Something grows in us, a capacity if you will, for life and love and God. I think of Romans 8:24–25: “That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy” (The Message). There is actually a sweet pain in longing, if we will let it draw our hearts homeward.

This week may you come to know that waiting is an intentional activity.  May you find in that waiting place the rest you need to hear the ‘what next’.  Only in the presence can we see the future. Grace and Peace. Here’s my take on the waiting place.

The Rest Between Two Notes

So I prayed for the next thing
Of where we might go
Our next song to sing

Then I prayed some more
For the harvest we’d reap
Of what was in store

Then it dawned on me
As I noticed the sunrise
That perhaps waiting
Was what you had in mind

The waiting space
The extra line in the poem
That creates the rest
Before you get going

The waiting space
The rest between notes
In the score of the song
That pauses for hope

So I’ll wait for you
And be right here
I’ll notice your presence
As we draw near

 

Narrative adapted from The Journey of Desire by John Eldregde.

 

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Waiting is an inevitable, necessary and mostly boring aspect of life. We wait in lines in order to buy our groceries; to be served at the restaurant, to be attended to in a bank; at stop signs and traffic lights; at amusement parks; to see a play or film. We must also wait for flowers to grow and bloom; for babies to be born; for wounds to heal; for bread to rise and cheese to age; for children to just grow up; for friends to call; for love to deepen.

Statisticians have estimated that in a lifetime of 70 years, the average person spends at least five years waiting. So why can’t we just hurry up and wait?

The bible has a lot to say about waiting. The bible teaches that we must trust God and remain hopeful while we wait. God is good. He promises to never leave us or forsake us. God is always working in our  life –  even when we are waiting for Him.  God assures us there is comfort and hope when we go through tough times as we wait with Him, stand firm and continue to seek His ways.

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope.
My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning.
~ Psalm 130:5-6

Good things take time. Easy to say, easy to write about, and easy to give as advice for others right?

I think there is another way to look at this.  We are so obsessed with waiting and measuring how long we wait in minutes, hours, and years.  Why is it that things take so long?  Why is it that God sometimes takes so long to answer our prayers?  I have no answers. I just don’t know.

What I do know is that no amount of theologizing and explaining can satisfy us while we wait.  Perhaps, just perhaps there is something critically important that happens to us while we are waiting. Life is lived while we wait.  Faith is proved while we wait.  Hope is tested while we wait.

Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion.
For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!
~ Isaiah 30:18

In the song Willow Tree by The Waifs, there is a verse that has always stuck with me.  It’s about waiting – not us waiting – but Jesus waiting for us.  I think we may have this waiting thing all wrong.  Jesus waits for us, he waits for us to come back to Him.  We wait for Him while he waits for us.
WillowTree - Copy

Under the willow tree, that’s where I wait for you

To come back to me, but you’re so far away.
I just sit by here in the morning sun,
And I wait under the willow tree.
~ The Waifs (Willow Tree)

This week may you come to  know how Jesus waits for you, longs for you to come back to Him.  In your waiting may you know that Jesus waits with you and for you.  Will you spend sometime waiting with Jesus this week.  What might you learn?  What will be different? What will you be able to share?

Where I Wait

You asked where I went
As if you already knew
Here under the willow tree
Is where I wait for you

You felt abandoned
Like you had no clue
Here under the willow tree
Is where I wait for you

You thought I left
As fast as the morning dew
Here under the willow tree
Is where I wait for you

Will you come back to me
I can make all things new
Here under the willow tree
Is where I wait for you

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