“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
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
Holding the space
for You to be You
all lists set aside
As I wait
As I wait
As I wait.