This Waiting Made Sacred

We all go through times of waiting.
Perhaps all of our lives are spent waiting.
My waiting usually looks impatient and discontent.
My waiting usually is spent trying to arrive.
If all of our lives are supposed to be made sacred, how can this waiting become sacred? How can this waiting become beautiful?
If all of our lives are meant for God’s glory, how can we lean into this waiting instead of resisting and pulling back?
Lean in
Henri Nouwen, a Dutch theologian, writes about waiting as an active kind of waiting.
He speaks of those at the beginning of the Gospels (Mary, Elizabeth, Zechariah, Simeon, Anna) as waiting with a sense of promise. A promise that allows them to wait. Nouwen says that the secret of waiting is the faith that something has already begun.
Active waiting means to be present fully to the moment, in the conviction that something is happening where you are and that you want to be present to it. ~ Waiting for God
It is a waiting that knows the waited-for thing has already begun.
Like planting a seed and waiting for it to emerge. Like seeing the plus sign on the pregnancy test and waiting to hold the baby in your arms.
It is a knowing that there are beautiful things happening in the darkness. It is a knowing that even though you cannot see, it is growing.
It is a giving up of control because none of us quite know what we are waiting for when God is involved.
Rather than waiting for a job or a baby or a spouse, we are waiting for whatever God chooses to give. We hold our expectations and dreams lightly, with cupped open hands, knowing that whatever comes is ultimately the best thing of all.
It is a giving up of control but it is a gift of surprise and adventure, of something even better than what you had imagined.
Eyes wide open
It is a waiting with eyes open and breath held in expectation. Expectation of beauty and excitement.
Sacred waiting
This is a waiting I can lean in to. A beautiful, sacred waiting that glorifies God.

Art credit: Final photograph of crab apple blossoms by Kirk Sewell

2 thoughts on “This Waiting Made Sacred

  1. I woke up feeling bad this morning because last night I complained about having to wait. My sweet husband said, “it will get better,” and asked me to be patient. So I definitely needed to read this post today!

    I like this: “It is a giving up of control but it is a gift of surprise and adventure, of something even better than what you had imagined.” I had many negative words about waiting, but maybe now I can view it as adventure, something to be excited about. I do love adventure! : )

    And I told him, “I feel stuck.” Sometimes the hard thing about waiting is feeling like things aren’t changing. But your line, “It is a waiting that knows the waited-for thing has already begun.” That is such an encouraging way to look at it!

    What a great perspective Elizabeth. I’ve had a terrible attitude about waiting, but I’m going to think of it as “beautiful, sacred waiting” instead!

    • I am always surprised by how much things can change just by looking at something a little differently. I was writing this for myself, trying to work through these ideas by writing about them, so I’m glad it was helpful for you as well!

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