Hoping that you are enjoying these strangely warm autumn days and finding the time to enjoy all that we are surrounded by. For some of us, maybe the spectre of winter approaching is a bit of a dread – meanwhile we wait to see how long it will be before we need to accept that autumn is on the way out, hoping it is not just round the corner.
Waiting comes into our lives in so many different ways & on so many different levels. Those who are nearing the end of our lives may have a real sense of waiting; those who have had medical tests or examinations will experience worrying waits for results; those who use public transport experience a different kind of waiting. And so on …… The reflections this week say something about waiting – we hope you will recognize some of the feelings.
Our blessing this week is ‘Let the Peace….’ from Sacred Weave. Let us share it with anyone we know who is waiting anxiously for an answer and for those waiting for the arrival of a long-awaited baby.
With our love & prayer
Trust in the Slow Work of God
Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
We are quite naturally impatient in everything to reach the end without delay.
We should like to skip the intermediate stages. We are impatient of being on the way
to something unknown, something new.
Yet it is the law of all progress, that it is made by passing through some stages of instability,
and that may take a very long time.
And so I think it is with you.
Your ideas mature gradually. Let them grow.
Let them shape themselves without undue haste.
Do not try to force them on
as though you could be today what time-that is to say, grace- and circumstances
acting on your own good will will make you tomorrow.
Only God could say what this new Spirit gradually forming in 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.
Above all, trust in the slow work of God, our loving vine-dresser.
Teilhard de Chardin
We don’t start out willing to wait. Our natural response to waiting is often anger or doubt. Fortunately, God is gracious and merciful, understanding of our tendencies. Simply feeling deep, complex emotions in waiting — especially for significant things, like a pregnancy or a job — is not necessarily sinful in itself. But we can decide where those emotions take us.
We can decide to exalt these feelings. We might act on them by taking matters into our own hands. Or perhaps we will not act, but we’ll make an idol out of the good for which we are waiting — every passing day is another log on the fires of bitterness, impatience, ingratitude, perhaps even resentment against the God who won’t give us what we want.
Or, by God’s grace, we can choose to wait as he intends. “Waiting on the Lord is the opposite of running ahead of the Lord, and it’s the opposite of bailing out on the Lord,” writes John Piper. “It’s staying at your appointed place while he says stay, or it’s going at his appointed pace while he says go. It’s not impetuous, and it’s not despairing.”
We have the choice, then, to take a deep breath, release our clenched hands, and let God be God. And we are invited to continue hoping in his greatness.
Certainly, only one of these options will bring us joy. As we seek to accept and rejoice in God’s handling of our lives, including his timing, we can ask God to work in us two main things, so that our waiting is not in vain: humility and trust.
I want to beg you, as much as I can to be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you win then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.