Monday, September 17, 2007

Here I am, O Lord

It is becoming clear to me that each phase of our life is made up of some type of waiting. Of course, as Christians, we are all waiting and longing for our true, eternal home with our Lord. High schoolers are waiting for college. College students are waiting for their careers. Some singles are waiting for Mr. or Mrs. Right to come along. Young marrieds might be awaiting their first child. Parents with children are waiting for the empty nest. And, so on and so forth...with multiple layers of depth to each type of waiting.

My attitude towards waiting goes in cycles. I go through long stretches of contentment and patience as I wait on the Lord's timing for a future family of my own. I deeply believe my longing and desire for a husband and children is God-given, but I also deeply believe it will occur on His time-table and not mine. So, like I said, I go through periods of extreme joy and contentment in the waiting. From time to time, however, whether out of selfishness or depth of desire, I'm not sure--I find myself mourning the unfulfilled desires. Praise the Lord that David wrote many psalms asking, "Where are you, O Lord?" and "How long must I wait, O Lord?" During my periods of mourning, I raise my voice with David, pouring out my deepest emotions to my Lord. Then, once again, I can patiently walk forth into purposeful waiting.

While allowing all of the above to percolate in my head, I was reading again from Ruth Haley Barton's book Sacred Rhythms. The following quotes came from her book, and deeply resonated with my heart.

"The practice of discernment begins with a prayer for indifference...indifference is a very positive term that is rich in meaning. Here it means, 'I am indifferent to anything but God's will.' This is a state of wide-openness to God in which I am free from undue attachment to any particular outcome, and I am capable of relinquishing whatever might keep me from choosing for love. I have gotten to a place where I want God and his will more than anything..."

"The question that is most pertinent at this place in the discernment process is, 'What needs to die in me in order for God's will to come forth in my life? Is there anything I need to set aside so that I can be open to what God wants?'..."

"Willingness to ask this question may take us into a period of waiting, in which we cannot accomplish for ourselves what most needs to be done. All we can say to God is, 'I know I am not indifferent. I know there is still something in me that is clinging to my own agenda. If I am to become indifferent, you will have to do it in me.' This period of waiting may feel very dark. But strangely enough, it will also feel deeply right--as if we are right where we need to be."

O Lord, I ask that as I wait for even a Godly desire...that my heart's attitude will be towards your will for me. Lord, you have placed me at this place, at this time, for a reason. Because of this, may my prayer always be...

"Here I am, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word."
Luke 1:38