In Others’ Words: Patience and the Willingness to Stay
Sometimes the situations we are in don’t change. We look and we look, and there’s no door marked EXIT.
Okay, yes, I’ll make this blog post personal.
I’m dealing with several ongoing situations that, by definition — ongoing, right? — haven’t changed. Circumstances haven’t budged for months.
Chronic health issues? Still here.
Strained relationships? Still here.
Some things I can’t fix. I can’t demand an end date. I’m on hold … waiting … learning patience, yes. Or, as Henri Nouwen said: I’m learning to be willing to stay where I am and live these situations out to the full believing that something hidden here will be revealed.
Willingness is an odd combination of faith in God’s presence in the midst of these difficulties and releasing my preconceived ideas about my life. Holding on to trust and letting go of expectations. An uneasy balance, that.
One of the things I’ve learned in all this waiting is to stop being so quick to take the blame for everything … and to stop being just as quick to cast blame. Shouldering blame or expecting someone else to bear the burden of blame are equal sins. I’ve taken far too much credit for far too many problems, which has separated me from God, from others, and from a true estimation of myself.
Yes, I need to own up to my wrong actions. But guilt is not a mandatory and I do not need to carry that weight every time someone offers it to me.
And the waiting times? That’s often when God does His best work in my life — if I let Him.
In Your Words: What hidden things have been revealed to you during times of waiting?
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