Daily Lent Devotions from Church Street UMC
Sunday, March 26, 2023 — Evening
By Dona Bunch
The Miracle of Waiting
Read: James 5:7-8 RSV
“Be patient, therefore, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. Behold, the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient over it until it receives the early and the late rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.”
I may be the world’s most impatient person. I drive everyone in my family crazy with my inability to wait. I am the person who, when a group of people is getting into a car, grabs the handle and starts pulling before the driver even gets their keys out. “It’s not unlocked yet,” my sister says, with a look that reminds me she’s said it dozens of times.
At my brother’s house, when he puts a coffee pod in the Keurig, I immediately start pushing the “medium cup” button repeatedly. “Stop it! You have to wait for it to heat up!” my brother literally yells.
As Lent approaches, all the talk of waiting makes me anxious. Waiting as a spiritual discipline seems nearly impossible to me. But it is precisely the ability to wait that opens our hearts and minds to the miracle of Easter.
Scientists say that when our minds are at rest, maybe taking a shower or going for a walk, our brains can make connections that they can’t make when they are perpetually working. We’ve all had the “ah ha” moment when an answer comes to us when we aren’t thinking. In other words, when we are waiting, not doing.
To me, that’s the message of Lent. Waiting with stillness allows us space to breathe. Relaxing our brains gives our hearts and minds the ability to listen and reflect, to calm. Within that silence, we prepare to experience the miracles before us. As we wait, God comes to us.
This Lent, I will try to give up impatience and wait for things to come. I’ll try to embrace silence and stillness and learn to wait. It won’t be easy (I’ll probably pull at the car door on Easter morning), but I’ll begin. And maybe I will be able to welcome the miracle of Easter more than ever before.
Lord, grant us the ability to wait, to calm our minds and hearts and know the peace of stillness. Help us to rest in silence so we can experience the awe of your resurrection. Amen.