In any season of waiting — (if life isn’t already mainly about the waiting) — this I tell myself:
Quench the naysaying, navigate through the quiet, and just hold yourself still.
Because the art of waiting isn’t mainly about the ending.
The art of waiting is about allowing the moment to make you.
More about letting the tango of tension mould you, so solitude can sort you, and you can find you.
Because isn’t it true that sometimes in the humdrum of daily heat that you anticipate lament’s own lyrics. And oh, how those voices; opposition, doubt and impossibilities — they can get loud and drown you.
We are impatient for endings with their great bangs: great success, wonderful accomplishment, ultimate satisfaction — everyone’s in search of their own little sweet spot of life.
Yet, we don’t see the true importance of matters.
We don’t get the process necessary for the destination, or if there is a God behind the wind when what we see is only the swirling of a cloud of dust.
And sometimes? — it may take just a bit of time.
Perhaps it’s 7 months into a new year, or 7 years into a great friendship, or 17 years of a promising ministry — before the swirling settles and the great awakening jolts you:
God doesn’t need great endings, only great men in the making.
Necessary endings are necessary for rebirthing.
Weeping may have to proceed before you get up and get your horns filled with joy oil — or before you can finally face yourself over that one big question, and answer it well —
Where are you today with God and with you?
Where are you with where you need to be?
And with the things that have turned out not to be?
It’s always those two, and I see it — what you originally thought life was going to be, and what you do now with what life turns out not to be.
It’s the discrepancy of “what ought to be” and “what really is” that sometimes throw us off-the-kilter.
But in that place, we learn to wait.
I sat with a group of ladies digging right deep into the Scriptures and learned that David was actually made King in the time of his waiting. That passage of time that seemed stalled with tears and fears wasn’t a waste — the waiting positioned him with the posture of a true king.
It was the waiting that formed the crowning — always the inward-looking, upward-surrendering that regrets unspeakable and disappointments unsolvable find their great endings.
And who’d preach it better to this woman slow and stubborn?
I might as well scribble it clear on the family’s chalkboard:
Wanna get somewhere?
Wait — because if we learn to wait well — if we learn not to regret over past unfulfilled nor ruminate over futures uncertain — then we have confidence that the God who turns things upside down will also touch us inside out.
That He’ll deconstruct what is so He can reconstruct to what needs to be.
This we say to our impatient self:
We are exactly where we need to be.
Small and still are perfectly fine, sane and steady are safety for the soul.
“It is not yet made manifest what we shall be” (1 John 3:2)
Oswald Chambers wrote:
“We are apt to look upon uncertainty as a bad thing, because we are all too mathematical and common sense. We imagine we have to reach an end; so we have, but a particular end is easily reached, and is not the nature of spiritual life.”
And in this space between the still and the small and all this silence, I linger over these:
When we are certain in things that ultimately provide no certainty, we are void of being certain in God alone, who is the ultimate certainty.
When we switch from trusting in God and believing in our beliefs, we leave no room for surprises, for “the expression of breathless unexpectedness”.
When we rush past our present, and blitz past the Author of new, the Reviver of dry bones and burnt stones, we allow earthly vision to obscure the heavenly, confusion to reign over our great certainty, our high confidence.
So, here’s the thing:
Our past isn’t the parameter — no matter what dreams did die, or how you died along the way.
Discouragement doesn’t need to define us, nor cynicism needs to crush us.
Because there is a place to anchor our hope, to believe that a good turnaround can be our story too.
And if the waiting’s enlarging us, and our heart a dream-factory in the making, then:
We’ll never for one day stop thinking about all the miracles God can do.
We’ll never for one second prove failure in the field of holy imagination.
Because the redemption in all our waiting is always this: God providing invincible consolation when, in a human sense, everything may look kinda quiet, kinda small, sorta sad.
So if waiting is art, then let these 3 simple make your mark:
- Let the quiet be Queen, and solitude your Sabbath.
Embrace the every-day: the seemingly small, the commonly simple, the amazingly ordinary (of people, children and routine) — and live there, alive. You now know you aren’t here to outdo, outperform, prove or impress, you’re simply living out of your being with Him.
Remember, what looks rugged, maybe rudimentary to rid old blockages. And desperate cries can lead to your most important discoveries.
It’s when we want not just a mirage but a miracle, that we dare embrace the invitation to believe that our old can be made new, and every glass-ceiling broken, every confusion removed.
3. Let the past resolve so our future won’t clog
To forgive isn’t merely to forget.
To forgive isn’t allowing the old dynamics to kick in the same motion of hurts and abuse.
And if life is a blend of losses often ungrieved, then we need to learn to weep, so we can walk away healed and well.
And even the impatient can relearn the art of waiting.
Even the slow can relearn the art of saying —
His love is overwhelming us more than our troubles can overcome us.
His power is delivering us more than our enemy can ever destroy us.
We behold it and it beckons us — what we’re becoming in all this waiting...