The benefits of waiting

This is a translation of a scriptural meditation from the Russian book, “Day by Day”. Lewis connection follows:

"Scripture: “ ‘Stand still!’ – ‘Tell the children of Israel to go forward’ “ (Ex: 14: 13, 15)

"Meditation:

"Until we learn to “stand” in place when the Lord requires it, we will not be able to go forward either, following His call. If we have decided to serve Him, He will teach us to rest along the way, to stand in place, or to move forward step by step, following His will. It is hardest of all for us to submit to God’s will, and await His instructions. We would prefer any kind of activity rather than such forced rest. Mary chose the “good part” (Luke: 10, 42), sitting at the feet of the Savior and listening to Him, but perhaps such a contemplative position does not correspond to our needs. We are pushing forward, we want active engagement, a broad field of activity, we are repelled by the apparent colorless vegetative existence which our humble life seems to be.

"Perhaps you are still waiting for God’s instructions. Do not despair! “The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait patiently for the salvation of the Lord” (Lam: 3: 25-26). Does this waiting weigh on you? Yes, until you submit completely to the Lord, until you surrender, you will not be completely and irrevocably at peace with your lot. But from the moment when you submit everything into His hands, allowing Him to guide you apart from yourselves and accepting His will without question in your heart, be assured that your soul will be filled with an imperturbable peace – the peace which is greater than any reasoning.

"The Lord requires and expects from you, first of all, a complete renunciation of your will and everything which is yours. Then you will also receive the command to “go forward”, and then the activity which you were seeking with such difficulty will turn out to be right next to you. You will see a clear path in front of you, and you will no longer need to seek anything or come up with anything. You will go forward beneath the shadow of His wings and in the light of His face. “They passed through the waters on foot; there we rejoiced in Him” (Ps: 66, 6).

“O, my anxious, restless and fidgety soul – calm down, be patient, be quiet, trust in the Lord, and you will see that His goals are always attained, and that nothing is impossible for Him, for ‘from ancient times no one has heard, no ear has listened to, no eye has seen any god besides You, Who has done so much for those who hope in Him’ (Is: 64, 4).”


One Lewis connection I could think of for the subject of “waiting” is from “And God Came In”, Lyle Dorsett’s biography of Lewis’s wife, Joy Davidman, end of chapter 2, beginning of chapter 3:

[Joy’s husband had just telephoned her to say that he was having a nervous breakdown, then hung up]. Dorsett writes:

“Joy spent the rest of the day frantically making phone calls and trying to locate Bill through his friends and acquaintances”, and he quotes Joy: “By nightfall there was nothing left to do but wait and see if he turned up, alive or dead. I put the babies to sleep and waited. For the first time in my life I felt helpless…All my defenses – the walls of cocksureness and self-love behind which I had hid from God – went down momentarily – and God came in…There was a Person with me in that room, directly present to my consciousness – a Person so real that all my precious life was by comparison a mere shadow play.”

I guess this was the kind of “forced rest” for Joy which created the possibility of her encounter with God.

Dimitry

“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Love will last forever.” (1 Corinthians 13: 4-8)

Our need to be doing something is often related to pride or to the mistaken belief that our actions are worthy of merit. When we finally stop trying to “do it ourselves” then God begins to work through us to His glory.

dzarechnak
June 20

This is a translation of a scriptural meditation from the Russian book, “Day by Day”. Lewis connection follows:

"Scripture: “ ‘Stand still!’ – ‘Tell the children of Israel to go forward’ “ (Ex: 14: 13, 15)

"Meditation:

"Until we learn to “stand” in place when the Lord requires it, we will not be able to go forward either, following His call. If we have decided to serve Him, He will teach us to rest along the way, to stand in place, or to move forward step by step, following His will. It is hardest of all for us to submit to God’s will, and await His instructions. We would prefer any kind of activity rather than such forced rest. Mary chose the “good part” (Luke: 10, 42), sitting at the feet of the Savior and listening to Him, but perhaps such a contemplative position does not correspond to our needs. We are pushing forward, we want active engagement, a broad field of activity, we are repelled by the apparent colorless vegetative existence which our humble life seems to be.

"Perhaps you are still waiting for God’s instructions. Do not despair! “The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait patiently for the salvation of the Lord” (Lam: 3: 25-26). Does this waiting weigh on you? Yes, until you submit completely to the Lord, until you surrender, you will not be completely and irrevocably at peace with your lot. But from the moment when you submit everything into His hands, allowing Him to guide you apart from yourselves and accepting His will without question in your heart, be assured that your soul will be filled with an imperturbable peace – the peace which is greater than any reasoning.

"The Lord requires and expects from you, first of all, a complete renunciation of your will and everything which is yours. Then you will also receive the command to “go forward”, and then the activity which you were seeking with such difficulty will turn out to be right next to you. You will see a clear path in front of you, and you will no longer need to seek anything or come up with anything. You will go forward beneath the shadow of His wings and in the light of His face. “They passed through the waters on foot; there we rejoiced in Him” (Ps: 66, 6).

“O, my anxious, restless and fidgety soul – calm down, be patient, be quiet, trust in the Lord, and you will see that His goals are always attained, and that nothing is impossible for Him, for ‘from ancient times no one has heard, no ear has listened to, no eye has seen any god besides You, Who has done so much for those who hope in Him’ (Is: 64, 4).”