Some follow-up thoughts from last week’s post on the tricky business of promises…
Our waiting is the sacred ground of faith. On that land, where the weight of mystery lays upon us with suffocating force, not likely to answer our pressing questions, we have the chance to encounter the God of presence (instead of screaming for the God of answers).
There, with Him, life births forth from our waiting far below where eyes cannot first see. And upon that waiting ground, God creates life within us, giving breath and dimension to long hoped-for promises. Though we may not see or feel it means little to if God is moving. Because He is at work far deeper than our feelings or the affirmations of others – something we cannot afford to forget.
Our waiting is also the tense ground where lies swirl around us like violent winds. These lies attempt to throw us down by hard jabs to our core, telling us we are barren and that the promises are empty. They say the waiting is pointless and no life will come from those tightly-held hopes. It is all for nothing, they say, so give up, walk away, and forget. it. all.
This is the holy tension to our waiting – and much of our faith – where we must believe and hope for what we do not yet see.
When we grasp waiting’s tension, we suddenly understand what the psalmist meant when writing, “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” (Ps 27)
Wait by strength. Wait by taking heart. Wait active and alive; alert to the lies and aware of God’s presence.
As I ponder waiting and promises, I realize I may be missing something key in my perspective.
See, we often think the waiting ground is the land we stand on now – and that hopefully one day we will move into the place of promise. It’s easy for us to separate the waiting from the promise, thinking that after this season we will pick up our feet, shake off the dust of what we are thankfully done with, and take those profound steps into the next place.
But what if it isn’t like that?
What if the land we stand on today where we are tensely waiting is the land from which promises spring up? What if instead of seeing ourselves in a holding cell anxiously waiting for the timer to ring and our release to come, we begin seeing ourselves upon a ground where we are partnering with God to bring life and promise from that place?
To see the promise as a part of the waiting is to move ourselves from being participants in a giant game of fate to actively partnering in what unfolds.
When we catch hold of God’s great “both/and” over this current ground – that it is waiting and promise – we then can carry responsibility for the unknown process before us. We become stewards to our waiting and its purpose, not passive pawns allowing what may come to play out.
God transforms. That is who He is. He takes what feels barren to the eye and unlikely to the world – and He creates. Instead of moving us to a different place where the circumstances are more promising or the supplies are easier to work with, He brings life from what seems barren and impossible. That is what He does every time.
So if your feet stand upon a land of unseen promises where you are tensely waiting and the wind whips around you with fierce force, then stand – wait – watch. For upon that ground is where promise comes forth as vibrant life from seemingly barren dirt.