The Waiting is the Hardest Part
Kelly and I are now proud homeowners! After seven months of waiting and waiting and waiting for our short sale to close, it finally did. Looking back I wish tell you that I patiently waited out the process. But I didn’t.
I tossed and turned, bit my nails, and cried out with the psalmist, “how long, O Lord?” As I watched the market continue to rise and the interest rates begin to pick up steam, I wanted to control the situation, and speed up the process. But the fact of the matter was there was nothing I could do. I could only wait.
Sometimes our spiritual lives are like this as well. We want spiritual growth to happen yesterday, we want to hasten the process and have control. But we don’t have control and often time’s spiritual growth occurs very slowly. We are not transformed as quickly as we would like, we are not as engaged in Scripture as we desire, and we do not represent Christ to our friends and family as we should. God’s promise of transformation, it seems, takes longer than it should.
This is why Abraham tried to hasten God’s promises by having Isaac with his maidservant Hagar. It’s easy to get impatient in our spiritual lives and take short cuts. But, brothers and sisters, God has promised to "transform us into the image of Christ with ever increasing-glory” in this life! (2 Corinthians 3:18)
God was faithful to his promises to Abraham and he will be faithful to his promises to you. Our job, our vocation, is to live faithfully to God and wait for the transformation to occur. You can’t manufacture or create it. Change and transformation are part the supernatural activity of the Spirit. And it might not always occur on our timetable. But you and I are called to what Eugene Peterson dubs “a long obedience in the same direction”. I would encourage you to mediate on the following passage as you consider the nature of spiritual growth:
Patient Trust (Pierre Teihard De Chardin)
Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
â€¨We are quite naturally impatient in everythingâ€¨ to reach the end without delay.â€¨
We should like to skip the intermediate stages.â€¨We are impatient of being on the way to somethingâ€¨ unknown, something new.â€¨
And yet it is the law of all progressâ€¨ that it is made by passing throughâ€¨ some stages of instability—â€¨ and that it may take a very long time.
And so I think it is with you;â€¨ your ideas mature gradually—let them grow,â€¨ let them shape themselves, without undue haste.
Don’t try to force them on,â€¨ as though you could be today what timeâ€¨ (that is to say, grace and circumstancesâ€¨ acting on your own good will)â€¨ will make of you tomorrow.
Only God could say what this new spiritâ€¨ gradually forming within you will be.â€¨
Give Our Lord the benefit of believingâ€¨ that his hand is leading you,â€¨ and accept the anxiety of feeling yourselfâ€¨ in suspense and incomplete.