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In the waiting...

In the feels like there is a common theme to many of my conversations of late, we are a people in waiting. For one thing or another, it feels like we are all in a season of waiting for that ‘something’. Akin to springtime, this season of waiting, even anticipation, there is an awaited promise and we wait for its epiphany, for seeds to bloom, buds to unfurl in their splendour, for signs of life to fill the land. But we must wait, we know it shall be, but it’s not yet, and so we wait. In fact much of what is lasting requires waiting. In many ways we are surrounded by an instant culture, but there is an art to waiting that we can embrace, learn and mark our stories. There are rhythms of waiting that are taught all around us. We must often, not always, gestate towards the promise, towards what is yet to come. And, I have come to realise in my own waiting, it matters most what we do in the waiting, how in fact we wait.

I think from a young age we groan in the knowing we must wait patiently, yet after all these years it is still a challenge to me. To wait patiently is the mode of waiting but not how, nor what we do, as we wait. There is a posture of waiting, there is the mode (patiently) and there is the art. The posture is that we are invited into Him as we wait, there is a restful abiding as we find our place in the very atmosphere and presence of Him who causes all things to come to pass, who holds all things and fulfils all things in its time. He has made a space for us that we can wait, we can be enlarged in that space and place of waiting, because we choose to wait in Him, and in Him there is grace, grace that renews us day by day as our waiting tarries on, He is a source in our waiting and a refuge, he is a source of strength and renewal to wait and a refuge to bear the waiting. Isaiah prophecy’s to us, “ but those who wait in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

And then there is what we do in our waiting, how we wait, we wait with hope, with faith and confidence upon Him, we see Him. I hear myself often telling O to ‘wait and see’, we grew up hearing, just ‘wait and see’, it was never very comforting in those moments of eager anticipation, just as it’s not for O now, no one really wants to ‘wait and see’ we all just want to see, but what if in our waiting we actually see, and are awakened to see, what if our eyes turn from the ache of the one day revelation, but in the waiting we see, see around us, see the One we wait in and with and ultimately for. For in our seeing we actively unite our posture with action, our sense of waiting defers as our gaze beholds the moment, the present, over the not yet, over that which we wait for. How we choose to wait is vital, it is the very art of the waiting, where we create and fill the spaces, how we choose to spend our attentions and affections, what we entwine our heart to, towards as we navigate the moment of promise until the moment of birth. What we choose to see, affects how we wait, if our eyes are set on the one day, the promise, or indeed the waiting our heart is entwined wrongly. We are invited to set our affectionate and attention on the One who fulfils, who brings forth, the one to which our faith belongs. For our faith is not in the promise but the promise keeper, maker and satisfier. So we wait and see, see Him all around, in the day by day, through the days when we ache, we see Him rightly, we look upon the One who is enough, who satisfies, who provides, we see Him to who our faith can fully rest and be filled. We look upon the one whose divine love manifests in us all we need to bear the waiting.

As David imparts to us “ here’s what I’ve learnt through it all: Don’t give up; don’t be impatient; be entwined as one with the Lord, ‘wait upon Him’ Be brave and courageous, and never lose hope. Yes, keep on waiting- for He will never disappoint you!”

It takes bravery and courage to wait, it’s not easy, I am not sure the point is to make it easy, or learn to wait easily. Waiting is required of us, we can not graduate beyond it or conquer it, but we can learn the rhythm of waiting, the art of it that it colours the canvas of our days in a way that forms riches in us beyond that which we indeed wait for,

So wherever you are in the waiting, and however you have been draw courage today, your waiting is not in vain just as it is written “ so Abraham waited patiently in faith and succeeded in seeing the promise fulfilled”

Faith is required of us, the hope and confidence that that which we anticipate will be revealed. And as I write I am aware, tangibly aware, of the tension we feel in this, perhaps the waiting feels unending, long suffering, even painful as the years drag on, the promises feel impossible, or simply deferred over and over. Perhaps we have given up in the waiting, and no longer anticipate. There are a myriad of waiting narratives working out in us. The hard stuff and the easy. The long haul and short. We are all simultaneously waiting for many things.

The art of waiting requires of us patience, and too often we forget that patience is a fruit, an expression of a divine love gifted to us, given limitless, without measure, patience that endures, with faith that prevails . We can’t conjure enough patience for our waiting, we have to receive it , there is grace for us, for it, given without limit to bear the faith deposited in us that prevails, prevails over the battles, over the waiting that does indeed succeed. In time.

Meanwhile, dear hearts, we must be patient and filled with expectation as we wait, for in waiting the art of our lives is produced, and bears beauty in the masterpiece we create as we gestate towards every promise, every yes and amen we believe for.

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