Signposts: Daily Devotions

Monday, January 12

I waited patiently for the Lord; He inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the desolate pit, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.
—Psalm 40:1-2

In Hebrew, the root of the word waits means to bind together, perhaps by twisting. This gives us new insight into how we might wait for the Lord: by binding together our anxieties, fears, and wild imaginative thoughts. Deep breathing helps in this process, enabling us to move beyond what is troubling us and un-bind, un-wind and become centered. Breathe in God, breathe out (name it) anxiety.

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin writes eloquently about this kind of waiting.

Above all trust in the slow work of God. We are quite naturally impatient in everything to reach the end without delay. We should like to skip the intermediate stages… Only God could say what this new spirit gradually forming within you will be. Give our Lord the benefit of believing that his hand is leading you and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself in suspense and incomplete.

What a challenge, to accept the acute anxiety of feeling “in suspense and incomplete.” But isn’t that the only way through a situation, to live into it rather than try to escape it?  Perhaps the psalmist remembers being able to do that and can say from experience, that the Lord “set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.”

Help me, O Lord, to trust in you. Help me to become more patient, to believe that your hand is leading me even when I am in deepest darkness. Amen.