More on the Discipline of Waiting on God

Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you who acts on behalf of those who wait for him. Isaiah 64:4

For about a year and a half I’ve been thinking about the discipline of waiting on God. My thoughts have been motivated by life’s circumstances. I wrote an article on the discpine of waiting that will soon be published and when it is, I’ll link to it. But because I’ve been thinking about it, anytime I read about it, I take note. So, I’ll share from Eugene Peterson’s book again, Where Your Treasure Is. It is an excellent book and I recommend it highly (actually anything that Peterson writes is worth reading and spiritually nourishing!).

“My soul waits. Another will is greater, wiser, and more intelligent than my own. So I wait. Waiting means that there is another whom I trust and from whom I receive. My will, important and essential as it is, finds a will that is more imporant, more essential. While waiting, I discover there is more reality outside of me than inside me, and I take up a position to respond to it. I begin to pray by attempting to manipulate the will of God; I end by putting myself in a position to be moved by his will. There is a kind of waiting that has nothing to do with prayer: opportunistic waiting–a predatory, disciplined holding back until everything is right for me to pounce. This is the waiting of a cat stalking a bird or of a person cannily watching for an opening thrust, the telling word. That is not prayer-waiting. In prayer, we are aware that God is in action and that when the circumstances are ready, when others are in the right place and when my heart is prepared, he will call me into action. Waiting in prayer is a disciplined refusal to act before God acts. Waiting is our paricpation in the process that results in the ‘time fulfilled.'”

From his chapter entitled Unself-Assertion a reflection on Psalm 62 p. 87.

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