The Posture of WaitingI think waiting on God is actually more of attitude. It’s a certain posture we assume that conveys we’re no longer waiting for God to change the circumstances of our lives, but we’re learning to find God’s love and goodness through those very circumstances. As so beautifully said by Benedictine Sister Joan Chittister,
“We become lost in the land of nowhere to go but God, not to change the circumstances of our lives, but to change our whole attitude towards what life is really about.”The posture of this “open-ended” waiting on God is assured, relaxed, up-looking, and free. In contrast, my posture of waiting for God to change my circumstances feels more closed, tight, small, holding on, maybe even rigid.
Things Will Happen
“To wait open-endedly is an enormously radical attitude toward life…The spiritual life is a life in which we wait, actively present to the moment, trusting that new things will happen to us, new things that are far beyond our own imagination, fantasy, or prediction.” – Henri NouwenAs I read this quote by Henri Nouwen, the scripture passage from Psalm 37:4 rang loudly in my head:
Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.In first reading this verse, I interpreted it to mean that God was going to give me the joys, the beautiful moments, the people, etc. that I really wanted in my life. About 2 years ago, I heard a different interpretation that totally blew my mind. God will teach my heart to desire what He wants me to desire. He will place desire in my heart for the things that He wants me to seek after! Like the excited feeling I have as I sit in Mass (didn’t I used to feel, well, bored?). Like the sense of total relief and homecoming as I enter the adoration chapel (didn’t I used to enter with a sense of obligation?). Like the sense of freedom and ease that floods my heart at scattered moments throughout the day (what happened to the pressure I used to feel about “accomplishing”?). The next line of Psalm 37 reads,
“Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act.” (Psalm 37:5)What if we asked God to only give us what He wants to give us? Can we trust Him enough to accept that it will be the genuine delight of our hearts? I may think, for example, that I want my children to listen better or to pray more (certainly not bad things to desire). But what if my prayer was, "Jesus, I surrender my children to You, take care of everything." What if I detached from the belief that they should do these things in this way and pray for this long and answer my requests within this many seconds? What if I left it totally in God's hands, trusting that He will act and my heart's desire will be fulfilled? As Nouwen said, an enormously radical attitude towards life! An attitude, a posture of surrender. And trust. Trusting that new things – good things far beyond my capacity to even think of - will happen.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” - Isaiah 55:9And so I wait, with expectant hope for Him to act, for me, in me, and through me. Quietly, slowly, steadily. As sure as the sun will rise.
Copyright 2018 De Yarrison
About the Author
De is a wife, mother, professional coach and women’s retreat facilitator. She is super excited about guiding women to discover the Truth of who they are – God’s chosen and beloved ones! Through her coaching practice and women’s ministry, YouAreMadeNew.com, De guides women to live life led by the Holy Spirit, and to cultivate resilience, self-compassion, and an unwavering trust in our incredible God.