Daily Devotion 05 May 2021

Create a peaceful space to pause, and allow yourself to feel God’s presence alongside you, as near to you as your own breath. In following the reflection below, as a church we will draw closer to God and to one another as we grow in faith and deepen our sense of belonging to God.

Psalm 27:14 ‘Waiting in Transition’

Wait on the Lord:
be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart:
wait, I say, on the Lord.

Springtime is a wonderful season of transition in England. Outside spaces come alive with flowers and blossom. In our garden we plant bulbs and sow seeds in anticipation of future growth. This week I have sown grass seed in the hope that our small ‘lawn’ may one day look like one again! It is my second attempt – my previous effort ended in abject failure.

Times of transition are inevitably times of waiting – waiting to see what happens next. We often wait in anticipation and expectation. We can also wait in apprehension and even fear. Waiting transports us from the known to the unknown and future outcomes may not be what we want or pray for. As I write we have begun the process of transiting from lockdown. For many this cannot come soon enough. Others may feel more hesitant, perhaps feeling not quite ready. A cloud of uncertainty may characterise this transition for many of us.

Many different transitional times are recorded in the Bible. The Israelites experienced this in both the Exodus from Egypt and the Exile from Babylon. Christ entered the wilderness transition as he waited and prepared for the start of his three years of ministry. After the crucifixion the disciples experienced their own kind of lockdown as they remained uncertain of the future. Each of us has to learn to wait and move through times of transition. These times may be welcome or unwelcome, expected or unexpected, short or long-term. We may wait patiently or impatiently. Often the need for change emerges within one of life’s transitional periods: teenage years, pregnancy, the early years of parenthood, ill-health and recuperation, unemployment, redundancy, retirement, bereavement, separation, divorce and the frailty that comes with aging.

Few of us fully come to terms with waiting in challenging times of transition. We want beginnings and endings to fit easily together but life is seldom like that, and more often involves living with loose ends. Yet I suggest that times of transition and waiting to see what emerges are special set aside times in which we can slowly reflect and grow into who we are within the particular circumstances that present themselves.

In his book ‘The Stature of Waiting’ W. H. Vanstone writes: “Waiting can be the most intense and poignant of all human experiences – the experience, which above all others, strips us of affectations and self-deceptions and reveals to us the reality of our own needs, our values and ourselves.”

So, I wait both in anticipation and with apprehension to see if my grass seeds will this time round enable the ‘desert’ of my present lawn to ‘blossom as the rose’! ‘What will be will be’ as the song says. However, in all our experiences of transition, I trust that whatever seeds germinate they will somehow, in time, by God’s grace, produce some fruit of the Spirit.

Prayer:

Lord in our seasons of transition, teach us to wait open-endedly.
Help us to cease our attempts to control and fix the future.
Deepen our trust that something creative could happen beyond our planning, dreaming and praying.
Jesus, help us so to search, that we discover what waits to be disclosed.
Help us so to trust, that we become part of what you wait to bring into being. Amen.

Reflection and Prayer © 2021 Gordon Harrison.
Image freely available online.

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