"I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be courageous and let your heart be strong. Wait for the Lord.” –Psalm 27:13-14
I hadn't noticed until now that brave and strong is part of waiting. Because running and explaining and indulging and figuring out is so much a part of our world. I forgot that wait is a verb, not a space-filler, not a time-waster. In the waiting, we are learning our hope. In the waiting, we become His; we come alive. In the waiting, we build the pages upon which He will write the story. In the waiting, the story has already begun. Right now, my waiting is the story. How silly for me to think that brave and strong was only for empire-building and battle-fighting.
I’ve been having strong moments and really weak ones. Because even though I’ve set up my circumstances for rest and family and connection right now, wherever I go, I can still find the drugs of efficiency, production, and proving. And I am an addict. Our circumstances do not determine our connection and peace; our hearts leaning into Him do. I’ve found you can build an ivory tower to an earthly god with anything, anywhere. The days I fall victim are the ones where I leave intentionality behind, and I let the wind take me where it may. Where it may leads me right back to slavery, to the chains.
I’ve known and tasted the richness of His freedom. The air I have been breathing in the space and quiet and respite I’ve created in my life has given me oxygen I did not know I needed, and when I breathe it fully…when I breathe in His name and goodness in the morning and live slowly enough to taste His faithfulness in each moment, I know a peace and beauty I cannot describe. But sometimes instead of drinking from the well with all this living water that makes me a living sacrifice and a living stone with living hope…I pick up the needle for the fast rush of this world. The needle tells my anxiety there is something I can do rather than waiting, there are no minutes to spare or moments to waste, there is this huge, gaping chance that He’s not coming through and He doesn’t have it together, and then you’ll be wishing you weren’t waiting. So I grind and research, cling to productivity…and then numb and dissociate because alive is too heavy and scary.
I’m finding a big part of this journey God and I are on right now is learning to bring all the quiet and space and oxygen-breathing and courage into each and every moment. It’s not about having this season of it but about becoming it. Finding simplicity and beauty and bringing it to my whole entire life. Because it is such a temptation when life comes knocking to pick up the needle, to be sucked back in. To put on my suit of striving, remembering all I have to prove, and finding a path to the familiar land of ambition and chaos.
I’m learning that it’s not about stopping but bringing life to the movement. Choosing the fluid beauty of blood pumping inside flesh rather than the plastic life of a drone driven by the world. Breathing the oxygen of His love and grace into each moment rather than losing the moment in the factory of self-construction.
I want the life breathing into me – not the world outside of me - to make me. I want to be the branch that is connected in the sinew to the vine, receiving its very life from the vine, producing real fruit from the vine.
What are you waiting for? To really be brave right now, I have to have the courage to wait instead of run. The courage to not have enough so He can produce the miracle of plenty. No matter the size of the gift we are given - this time I have now, for example - it will either be always enough or never enough depending on where we are connected. Connected to the vine, breathing His oxygen, we will always have what we need even when our schedule or pockets are empty. Connected to the needle, sucking in the drugs of the world, we will always be wanting because we miss the richness in the moment that meets our needs.
So to the voices inside my head, the temptations knocking on my heart, the questions swirling around me everywhere I go… bring the silence, Lord, with your presence. Drown out the chattering and sales pitches of the world around me and inside me and consume me with your oxygen. Take me one step at a time and slow me back down to one day at a time, because in that rhythm, I’ve never been closer to your heart. When I start running, catch my foot and slow my racing mind. Remind me I do not have time for anything if I have not first had time with you. Help me embrace the courage every single day of living in these moments with You and waiting for all the things to be whispered ever so gently in the quiet moments with You.