I’ve heard that one of the most difficult spiritual disciplines is waiting. Scripture frequently reminds us to wait on the Lord. A life theme of mine this year has been I wait and God moves. So, what are you waiting for in your life right now? You may want to pause for a few moments, and ask yourself and God that question.

It seems we all have things that are pending in our lives. What we hope will happen or fear might come to pass. A decision to be made that we are uncertain about. A heart’s desire that we have prayed for over a long period of time, or something we are wrestling with that we would prefer to be resolved. Old wounds that linger on. So often I want these things to just be done!!

Yet I have been told to never underestimate the power of simply waiting for God’s grace to move. I trust that while waiting, I have an opportunity to experience the intimacy of being drawn like a magnet into the Divine Presence. Something in me can be created anew, restored, and made holy. I offer to God the hospitality of a soul ready to grow. I rest in God’s presence like a seed in the darkness of the earth, or a child in its mother’s womb. I embrace the waiting and ask God to transform me. At least, these are what my heart desires.

“Come to me heedfully, listen, that you may have life.” Isaiah 55:3

Those in-between times in life are waiting times. They offer those of us who like to do the gift of simply lingering with the Lord, pondering what really matters in His eyes. What endures. And in the meantime, we can practice living well as St Benedict describes in his Rule for living:

Live life normally
Live life thoughtfully
Live life profoundly
Live life well.
                                   The Rule of Benedict

In the waiting, we learn to listen with a simplicity of heart. To clear away the clutter and enter into the daily practice of deep listening.  We are encouraged that simply longing for God is a good prayer.

“It is not what you are or what you have been that God sees with all merciful eyes, but what you desire to be.”
Cloud of Unknowing

As we wait, we ask God to prune away the obstacles that weaken our communion with Him. To cut away the old dead wood.To anoint those places that need healing with a glance of Divine love.  We may ask ourselves how we feel about God leading us into the deepening places of our lives? What might be asked of us? How do we feel about that? We can ask God to help us be open to Him. To surrender our need for certainty.  To practice obedient listening while believing that God is also listening to us. How do you feel when you think about God listening to you?

You might ask Him questions like:

Where are you in this, Lord?
What are you asking of me now, Lord?

God can teach us how to live attentively listening for His voice. We must also pay attention to what feelings are most potent in us, and what God has to say to us through them.

Often, we need to listen again and again as our first listening may not be the final truth at all. A most dangerous god can be clinging to our own wills. It takes much time to discern God’s will, and even longer to courageously follow it.

As we move toward that great death at the end of life, we pass through many little deaths along the way. Our hope is that a new person is born out of struggle. Beauty is lifted out of our wrestling with the Lord. There will be times when God asks us to sink down below the storm, below the anxiety, where the peace of Christ waits for us. Our inner pilgrimage to the promised land of God’s heart.

Here is a Scripture that gently speaks to me giving me peace and hope. If I’m bold enough, I might even say that is shows me that I am dear to God! Can you allow yourself to feel dear to God? Ponder His words to us:

“God remains in us, and His love is brought to perfection in us.” 1 John 4:12

We wait on the Lord with the assurance that He waits with us, and He is perfecting His love in us. Little by little, we can love like God loves allowing Jesus to rule the world from our hearts. That certainly is something worth waiting for!

Reflect on these words as if God were saying them to you as you wait:

Abide in me as I abide in you.
Remain in me as I remain in you.
Stay rooted in me as I stay rooted in you.
Live on in me as I live on in you.

**This blog was inspired by the words of Sister Macrina Wiederkerhr in her reflections, Abide: Keeping Vigil with the Word of God. I’ve enjoyed spending my summer with her writings. Sister Macrina passed away last year. May her words live on in and through all those souls whose lives she touched.


Anchored in God’s love

“…for I know him in whom I have believed and am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.” 2 Timothy 1: 12

JULY. We are deep into summer. I am blessed to be in a season of life that allows time and space for more reflection. I’m able to savor the graces of those lazy, hazy, days of summer. How different from the days of much motion in my 30’s and 40’s. Each season has its blessings and challenges.  God will always help us to taste and see that the Lord is good. No matter when or where, so many things can speak to us of God’s goodness. Today I want to share about my love of words. One word in particular has caught my attention of late. ANCHORED. Specifically, ANCHORED IN THE MOMENT. What might that mean to me in my season of life? What might it mean to you?

An anchor feels safe, solid, and secure. Not easily moved.  In my younger years, I felt much more tossed to and fro by the changing winds. I was uncertain and insecure. I can still feel that way but now, more often than not, I feel grounded and peaceful. What has caused the change for me? Perhaps the answer lies in another word I love—TRUST. God continues to lead me on a faith journey where I feel more and more loved by Him and, thus, able to trust in His goodness and wisdom in both my life and the lives of others.

When I am trusting, I can BE HERE NOW IN THE PRESENT MOMENT. It’s easier to wait, remembering that God is always at work in the world. I hear God’s gentle voice saying: “Leave the big stuff to me, Cherry.” I surrender my need for certainty.

So where did this trust that anchors me in the present come from?  I would describe it as the slow, gentle work of God in my life. He has continued to call me closer to himself and helps me move in that direction. He chips away at my pride and heals my heartaches, as we say in Spanish, poco a poco (little by little). Over the years, as my trust has grown, I see how very little God is asking of me. His desire is that I show up, be still, and let Him speak to me. As I surrender myself in love to God’s love, He empowers me to stay the course. Basking in the love of God, I am more able to love as God loves.
 In God’s loving design, we are meant to light one another’s path.

God is my anchor and God is my hope. I desire to live in the depths of reality with an open, soft, and free heart.  Beloved words from Scripture beckon me to go to the depths with the One who “enables me to go upon the heights.” (Habakkuk 3:19)

More words that have been speaking to me are the lyrics from an old Christian worship song by Ray Boltz entitled, THE ANCHOR HOLDS. I encourage you to take a listen (on YouTube). These words called to me when I was in my thirties, but now, in my sixties, their meaning, like my faith, has deepened:

I have journeyed
 through the long dark night
out on the open sea
 by faith alone, sight unknown,
and yet his eyes are watching me.

The anchor holds though the ship is battered.
The anchor holds though the sails are torn.
I have fallen on my knees as I faced the raging seas.
The anchor holds in spite of the storm.

Recently, I read that trust is crucial to spiritual growth. As a way to build your anchor of trust, I encourage you to simply spend regular time with your Creator, sitting quietly, waiting, and listening deeply. Slowly and reflectively read these words as if God were lovingly speaking them to you. Pay attention to what they may mean to you at this time in your life. Linger with them a bit. Bask in their deep truth. Let them peacefully anchor you in this moment.

BE still and know that I am God.
BE still and know… I dwell among you.
BE still and know… I call you by name.
BE still and know…  my mercy endures forever.
BE still and know… by my wounds you are healed.
BE still and know… I give you my peace.
BE still and know… I make all things new.

BE still and know that I am God.
BE still and know that I am.
BE still and know.
BE still.