Not-So-Patiently Waiting

Waiting. I'm not very good at it. Or should I say I'm not very good at doing it patiently? I'm currently in another season of waiting. And I'm once again reminded that I'm not a naturally patient person. I want to move on to the next thing once I've set my mind on it. I don't usually like change, but when I'm the one initiating it, I have a hard time waiting for it. I find myself restless, wondering what the point of the waiting is, or if there even is one.

But I just read a post on a blog I've really been enjoying lately, written by Shawn Smucker, a guest writer, entitled Above All, Trust in the Slow Work of God. It reminded me that God is at work in the waiting. There is a divine purpose for every step of the process. And I need to be patient, allowing the growth to happen in the in-between times. I need to not keep searching for the next thing, but be content with where I am for the time being.

While we usually obsess over the thing we’re waiting for, the thing we want, what the waiting can do for us, can do in us, is never about that thing.

...While I continue to wait for this thing that may or may not happen, what’s happening in me has nothing to do with the end result. There is “a new spirit gradually forming within” me, especially if I can believe that I am not wandering this dark house alone. - Shawn Smucker

Only God could say what this new spirit gradually forming within you will be. Give Our Lord the benefit of believing that his hand is leading you, and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself in suspense and incomplete. - Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Thinking back upon other seasons of change, I can see evidence of growth happening in those uncertain, impatient days. I still don't see the whole picture, but I trust that there is a reason for everything that happens, and a reason that they happen when they do.

Waiting on God's timing ensures that the process of refining can happen slowly and thoroughly, making me into the person I need to be before I take whatever step lies ahead of me. When I strain for what's out of reach and rush toward the future without waiting patiently, I get things I'm not prepared for, and they're definitely not as sweet. Waiting creates in us a sense of desire, one that produces even greater measures of excitement when we finally obtain what it is that we've been waiting for. It reminds us that there are great things ahead. But it also can serve to remind us that there are great things right where we are as well.

Like they say, it's about the journey, not the destination. So, today, may you and I set our sights not on the destination ahead of us, but on the journey right around us and the world under our feet. May we embrace both change and consistency as they come, knowing there is a place and a purpose for each.