But hope means that we must trust and wait for what is still unseen. For why would we need to hope for something we already have? So because our hope is set on what is yet to be seen, we patiently keep on waiting for its fulfilment. Rom 8:24-25 (TPT)
Space of Waiting – Eager Expectation Series – Part 2
Like we said yesterday, we’ve had quite the week. So we thought we'd throw back to one our favorite series from 2015. It was a piece I wrote leading up to Christmas, and even though it was written in “2015,” I think it applies even more to 2016.
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Are these not some of the most troubling words in our language? Haha!
I’ve used all three of them, and in very comforting sentences. “Trust God” and “wait for his timing” and “patience is a fruit of the spirit.”
Yep, guilty. (how annoying are those phrases!)
Although these sayings could almost have their own permanent dictionary status – so often do we hear them – I think we’ve grown so familiar with the words while their meanings have become like a distant memory.
When the rubber of life hits the hard road of reality, trust, wait and patience are three words that bring little comfort.
Yesterday I wrote about a meltdown I had while looking at the gifts I’ve bought my kids for Christmas. Heartaches and injustices are bubbling out of control all over the world, and here I was figuring out if I’ve bought enough Lego and Shopkins for my kids to crazily unwrap underneath an overly decorated pine tree. In the face of all that's going in the world, I struggle with reconciling how I am here, enjoying this space, and other people live their whole lives never experiencing it… or worse. And I can’t use the word “blessed“ about it anymore… I used to say, “I’m so blessed to have been born in Australia…” But what does that make everybody born somewhere else?
There is a tension growing inside me, and I believe within our communities, about how we think the world should be, and how it is, and what on earth we can do about it.
(Trust. Wait. Patiently.)
Paul wrote to his friends in Rome and said, “But hope means that we must trust and wait for what is still unseen. For why would we need to hope for something we already have? So because our hope is set on what is yet to be seen, we patiently keep on waiting for its fulfilment.”
There’s a name for the space of waiting. Richard Rohr writes,
“[Liminal Space comes from] “Limina” [which] is the Latin word for threshold, the space betwixt and between. Liminal space, therefore, is a unique spiritual position where human beings hate to be but where the biblical God is always leading them. It is when you have left the “tried and true” but have not yet been able to replace it with anything else. It is when you are finally out of the way. It is when you are in between your old comfort zone and any possible new answer. It is no fun. Think of Israel in the desert, Joseph in the pit, Jonah in the belly, the three Marys tending the tomb.
IF YOU ARE NOT trained in how to hold anxiety, how to live with ambiguity, how to entrust and wait—you will run—or more likely you will “explain.” Not necessarily a true explanation, but any explanation is better than scary liminal space. Anything to flee from this terrible “cloud of unknowing.”
Maybe the way forward is not finding THE answer right now and making everybody agree that it is indeed right, but learning to live without an answer, or rather, living towards one. One that may take more than my lifetime to find. We need to find our way back to the true meanings of trust, wait and patience; a life of hope.
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