There is a time for everything, and yet —
Waiting for the right time, can feel like everything is going wrong.
You can bet on it these days, every morning when we rise and look at the calendar, we think: How long, Lord, how long?
How long till the price for our crops, our pigs, turn around, how long till the next rain for the wheat in the fields, how long till we all get to breathe even a little bit easier?
The sacrament of waiting can feel the hardest of all.
They say waiting is the drumming of impatient fingers, the unbearably slow watching of the face of the clock, the long sitting in front of indifferent calendars that have minds of their own, and you keep hoping for something to change your heart cracks.
Hoping can feel so much like hurt.
But, the brave and battle-weary will flat-out tell you, if you’re waiting in front of a stretching calendar, waiting beside a hospital bed for any kind of stirring, waiting for the word you need to finally turn off this endlessly-stretching dead-end road, waiting for change that is moving slower than old molasses frozen in the depths of December, you know waiting isn’t an uninvolved twiddling of thumbs because you have felt it:
Hope is a buoyancy — and waiting is what splits you wide open to fill with the rising waters, so everything can rise. So you can rise.
Waiting isn’t passive — waiting is passion: waiting is loving long enough to suffer.
Waiting is the patience of the long suffering of letting go. Letting go of the plan, the dream, the map, the vision. Letting the ground of things, the things that you made your ground, letting them give way.
Waiting is a letting go to let something grow.
The combine is waiting in the shed for the wheat harvest to come.
The Farmer stands at the front window in the early morning light, waiting for any rain clouds to move in from the west. His Bible is open on the sill, like it’s a rail shielding him from the edge of things in a world that’s tilted in all kinds of ways. Our early hours can all be the same, day after day, before the throne of grace: our hands may seem tied, but our knees never are.
His eyes hardly ever leave the sky. Will we get enough sun, enough rain, will we get enough of what we need? Frost will be here by early to mid-September. You only have so many days to grow a crop, to grow hope.
And those empty squares on the calendar are always harshly blunt. I try not to think how so much of this year has been waiting. Hoping. It can feel like hope is running out.
His eyes looking toward the west, over the wheat, the Farmer speaks soft:
“This is not about us growing a crop — but about God growing us.”
All this waiting isn’t destroying us — the waiting is growing us.
The longer the heart waits, the larger the heart expands to hold the largeness of the abundant life.
The waiting is widening us — so Hope is never running out — but more hope in Christ is running in.
I turn toward the sky and feel it:
Nothing is lost in the waiting process — because waiting is a growth process.
Waiting is the sacrament of the tender surrender, the art of a soul growing large.
And it’s true, even here:
Life has no waiting rooms — life only has labor and delivery rooms. Waiting rooms are actually birthing rooms and what feels like the contraction of our plans can be the birthing of greater purposes.
The Farmer only pulls on his farmer’s cap when he heads to the barn, out past his waiting fields, out to his waiting mama sows. His head’s bowed low into gusts of wind blowing in, and God’s ways coming down. Waiting is the sacrament of the tender surrender and this is the art of a soul growing large.
Every waiting moment is heavy with the weight of glory and all our waiting midwifes a fuller life.
You find yourself at a crossroads every day — in a place of looking at the sky and wondering why? And what you need to know — is the way to abundance.
How do you find the way that lets you become what you hope to be in the midst of what is?
How do you know the way forward that lets you heal, that lets you flourish, the way that takes your brokenness — and makes wholeness?
How can you afford to take any other way?