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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Why So Much Waiting?

From The Sacred Echo by Margaret Feinberg, pages 59, 66, 69

If prayer is one part speaking and one part listening, I think there's a third part people don't talk about as often: waiting...

Over the last few years, I've noticed that the process of waiting that accompanies prayer brings impurities like fear, lack of faith, and doubt to the surface of my soul. Once exposed, I hand them back to God in a blend of confession, repentance, and celebration, grateful for the knowledge that God's still at work inside me...

Why so much waiting?

I do not know, but I do know that when God asks,

How long?

he invites us to place the weight of the wait on him. He does not want us to wait alone, but rather to wait on him alone. God invites the restless soul, like my own, to find respite in him. Not only does he listen to our heart's cries as we wait, but he blesses us, strengthens us, and renews us in the process...

Jean said:

I've never been a good waiter, have I, Lord? I want to finish the job then dash on to the next task. I think it's part of that "list-maker and check-offer" part of me. My natural orientation is task-oriented. That is so NOT like You.

You are people-oriented. You are intentionally relational. And relationships require a lot of waiting.

I hate waiting. I admit it. Like Feinberg says here, the waiting makes my fears, my insecurities, my doubts rise to the surface like cream.

Like cream.

I'm old enough to remember Granny having milk with the cream at the top of the glass jug. She could either shake the bottle vigorously and thus blend the cream back into the milk. Or, she could skim that cream off the top and put it aside.

Cream is a good thing. But my fears and doubts are not. Just the same, like the cream, You can just skim those fears, doubts and insecurities out of my life and toss them away after they rise to the surface.

After they rise to the surface. And waiting on You makes that happen. Waiting while You prepare my heart, my head, my hands for the answer You are going to send to me.

God said:

Waiting and watching expectantly for the answer. That's the posture of prayer, Little One.

My perfect love casts out those fears of yours. Waiting is part of that process.

And remember, waiting isn't an idle pastime. Waiting for Me is an active pursuit. It means you wait vigilantly. It means you wait expectantly. It means you wait attentively for Me to give you the slightest signal. Being alert so that when I do send the answer you'll recognize it and be ready to act upon it.

One part speaking. One part listening. One part waiting while I prepare and perfect not only the answer, but you, too.