On Waiting Until Things Get Back to Normal

“Waiting until this is over and we can get back to normal.” 

I’ve been using this kind of language a lot these days – how about you? It’s slowly occurring to me that we might not get back to “normal” by a certain “date.” That after a while, once the storm has passed, we will find ourselves in a new normal. If that’s true, then my current waiting posture will only bring more frustration and disappointment. 

So how do we wait? How do we posture our hearts toward the future?

This morning I listened to a worship song with the repeat, “We wait for you, God, we wait for you…”and began to consider how we wait for God. I tend to wait for God to do something when there’s nothing more man can do. Waiting expectantly on a breakthrough. Waiting for God to make a way where there is no way. Waiting for the Lord to deliver or heal or provide.

Perhaps there’s a different kind of waiting that does not have an agenda or an end result in mind. This would be a good muscle to work during a time of transition into a new and unknown “normal.” 

Perhaps this kind of waiting on the Lord looks like making space. Sweeping away the list of what we hope God will DO for us, and instead just making space for Him to BE in us.

A spiritual directee of mine said it this way: “There are times God is asking for more space than I’m giving Him.” This is profoundly true. The invitation from the Lord, then, is to not just prepare Him room, but to let Him move in and have as much space as He’s asking for in our hearts. 

So the posture of the heart changes from “God, I’m waiting on you to do (x) for me” to “God, I’m pausing here to give you more space to just be, here within me.” 

This shift from doing to being is significant. Getting to know the God who IS – the I AM – rather than the God who DOES… this will re-order us. It will help us be more comfortable in a season where the doing is precarious, pinned in, even unsafe. It will teach us to be less agenda-driven and more presence-holding. The inference is that His presence is enough, that He doesn’t have to prove Himself to us.

This is a time to strengthen our be-ing. We can best learn how to do that from the One who calls Himself I AM. 

During these weeks in limbo, I encourage you to wait on the Lord in a way that allows Him to BE within you. To practice waiting that’s not unto a specific expectation, but instead just holds the space.

Since God is the only one who knows what our new normal will look like, or how long the limbo will last, we can trust Him to make adjustments in our hearts that will enable and equip us to go with the flow (and even thrive!) in the days to come.

Centering prayers, prayers of examen, and mindfulness practices help us do this. Try this one if you’re looking for a place to start.

O Lord, my soul waits for You

As the night sky

Waits for the sun

To peak out from behind

That wide steady line

Ready to receive the dawn

As I breathe in

And breathe out

Slowly

Surely

I open up to receive your light

All across the sky of my heart

Thank you God

In this uncertain time

For the sureness of

The sun’s rising and falling

The tide’s ebbing and flowing

The lung’s breathing in and breathing out

These are enough to anchor me

In Your faithfulness.

How much space are you asking for right now, God?

Come make yourself at home in me

As I wait

Here

Holding the space 

for You to be You

all lists set aside

As I wait

With You

As I wait

In You

As I wait.

 

Photo by Federico Respini on Unsplash

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