Much good happens in the space where nothing is happening. – Christa Wells, singer/songwriter
You are in a season of waiting. When you finally show up ready to release your art by being the person you believe you are created to be, there may be nothing more disheartening than to be asked to wait. The waiting can drive us mad if we let it. It can become a merciless dictator, shoving us into shapes we aren’t made for, shapes of worry and doubt and short tempers.
But the waiting can also grow us, shape us from the inside out for sacred work. This is a kind of work that happens only in the secret place of abiding in the presence of Christ even in the midst of broken dreams and tired circumstances.
There is still movement in the waiting, though it may be hard to see. A Million Little Ways,
In the waiting, I move toward God.
As I’ve struggled through the place of worry, doubt and fear on this journey, I am realizing all the more that this sacred space must continually be brought as an offering before the Lord. I must remain completely yielded to God and His way. And so in the struggle, I move toward God. There is no place else for me to run but straight into His loving embrace. And there, He will whisper to my heart His will. I am clinging to the promise that even in this season when it’s hard, when I can’t see what is ahead, when I often cannot feel Him in the midst of it, I know that He is moving on my behalf.
In the waiting, I see with new eyes.
I am uncovering it, a piece at a time. The work is finished somewhere invisible. Fear says I am going to do it wrong. Doubt says I won’t find it at all. But hope? Hope says, Wait. It’s just a little farther. You are not alone and this is not just your idea.
The real art is the invisible work happening in the depths of my soul as I uncover, sink, see, listen and wait. A Million Little Ways.
So I begin to see with new eyes. I begin to peer deep into a heart, hidden in Christ. Tucked away in the darkness where only He is light, I wait. And I open my eyes to all that is before me, while fixing my gaze steadily on the person of Jesus. My life must remain hidden with Christ in God. I must allow the Master Potter to come, again and again, and chisel away all that I hold firmly in my grasp. For I cannot hold onto anything if I am to be used to bring Him glory. I must remain His — fully, completely, withholding nothing.
Will I trust Him?
In the waiting, I learn to trust.
I have come to a place where I must let go, realizing that I can no longer control the outcome. All I can do is yield, surrender, offering it back up to Him for His glory. Yet at the same time, there is fear — fear of the unknown, fear from this broken and bruised vessel that would ask, “Surely, Lord, you would not call me to lay down this art?”
What if the answer is what I fear most? Would I still say yes? Would I be willing to lay it all down for the sake of knowing Him?
[Tweet “Perhaps in the waiting, my heart is learning the sacrifice of a heart that is completely His.”]
God does things differently. He said, Let there be light, but then he waited a full day before he spoke again. And on the last day, he rested. He built waiting into creation. From the incarnation to the resurrection, divine creativity begins and ends with waiting. – A Million Little Ways
He moves in the inner, upside-down, individual way and he places himself within us — those of us who, like Mary, say yes. He moves in our desires and then waters them, suns them and sometimes dries them up. He always provides, but not always in the way we think he ought to. – A Million Little Ways.
We must not lose hope in the waiting, for waiting paves the way for art.
The painful process of growth.
When my children were young, they would often have growing pains in their legs at night. They would call out to me, and I would find them laying in bed crying desperately for the pain to go away. All I could do was hold them, pray for them and reassure them that soon the pain would be gone. I would have done anything I could as a mother to prevent this process of growth. But where there is growth, there is most often pain.
Be faithful to plant. Release the growing to God. Open up clenched fists and let the seeds drop into the ground, let them burrow down deep and do their secret work in the dark. Sacred shaping happens in the waiting. – A Million Little Ways
So what is our part in the waiting?
Show up. Show up in that place where you are already fully alive. Embrace the mysterious and invisible work of Christ even when it looks as if nothing is happening. Move toward God. Give Him your all. Open your eyes to all that is around you, and find the beauty that lies before you. Lean into His presence and trust, even if the process is painful.