For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. Psalm 62:5
Anyone who knows me knows that waiting, let alone in silence, can be a struggle for me. Sometimes it feels like God especially knows this about me and often challenges me on this! When things feel chaotic, I search for ready answers so that peace can be restored. While I believe that God wishes me to experience peace, He also tells me to be patient and persevere. Sometimes the answer is not immediate and sometimes the answer is : Wait.
Dr Carlisle writes, God’s silence is not indifference. Somehow this resilient faith that perseveres is part of his work of transformation in our lives. Heaven knows, His work of transforming me is far from over.
Some of our Grade 9 to 12 students recently began the journey of discovering Ignatian Discernment. How do we make decisions? I sat at the back and pondered this in my own life. Do I wait on the Lord without doubts? Do I know that I am not actually in chaos but in the steady presence of my Lord?
What I need is to find contentment and rest in the waiting and recognize that the silence is sacred space. I need to trust that God knows and wants what's best for me. I need to take time to retreat not only from the world's noise but from the internal noise that distracts me.
Randy Alcorn tells us, The call to wait on God is an invitation to trust and hope. It entails believing that one day — even if today is not that day — He will make all things right. In times of waiting, as we seek God in prayer, we must learn to listen to Him as well as talk to Him — to shut out the clatter and quietly wait as He unfolds to us His person, purposes, promises, and plan.
In these shorter days of Advent, when darkness is far more present and the world's cares seem to press in on us more prevalently, do we take time to embrace the silence and continue to hope? Do we still our minds and put off our own understanding, waiting to be filled with His Spirit?
At morning assembly these past two weeks, we lit our Advent candles and lengthened our Scripture readings. We quieted our spirits in prayer amidst the excitement and anticipation of the Christmas break. I am so proud of our students for the careful preparation they have undertaken to make our upcoming Nine Lessons & Carols breathtakingly beautiful. What a gift!
As we head into week 3 of Advent, let us wait patiently in joyful hope. In the words of Michael Rubbelke:
If all seems comfortable, easy, triumphant–the glass of our window fogged over by Christmas hymns, cookies, and family gatherings–let us again look to the poor and marginalized whose sufferings are real.
If all seems hopeless, dark–the days shortening and nights lengthening–let us wait hopefully for Christ to grow and act in us even when we cannot perceive it.
If we have avoided the waiting, if we have busied ourselves so as to obscure the world’s pain and the hope of Christ’s coming, let us turn again in empathy to our reality and in hope to the One already living in our hearts.
If Christ seems hidden from us, let us accept this in prayer and hope, letting Him be so, for He is at work, no less in the silent darkness of our world than in the silent darkness of Mary’s womb.
Let us wait for Him in silence, in merciful empathy, in joyful hope during these last days of Advent. For Christ comes in our waiting to share our life. He grows in us so as to live His life in the world. Through us, He brings this world to the Father’s heart, our truest home.
Come, Lord Jesus.