The liturgy of waiting and working
I love this in Elisabeth Elliot’s devotional today:
I cannot claim to be living by faith unless I’m living in obedience. Even the miracles Jesus performed were contingent on somebody’s obedience, on somebody’s doing some little thing such as filling up water pots, stretching out a hand, giving up a lunch. The work I do needs to be transformed. I know that very well. But there has to be something there to be transformed. It’s my responsibility to see that it’s there.
A good reminder for me today, as I face another day of intense prayer for our support needs, asking God what else I should do.Â He has, of course, reminded me that the power is His, that He is my ultimate provider, that no human will actually get us overseas and pay for our groceries so that we may thrive there.Â That is His job.Â But today, there are a few other practical tasks that could speed up our pace toward the finish line of being at 100% (call such-and-such, crunch the numbers here, turn in this paperwork).Â And those things are no less godly or spiritual than the fasting and prayer that, in this case, are also acts of obedience as we wait for His hand to move.
Just as when I am a housewife, I pray for an attitude of joyful service yet I don’t expect Jesus to show up at my doorstep and offer to wash the dishes – here, too, I offer myself and all that “myself” implies to His perfect will, yet I still stamp envelopes, do the laundry, and turn in insurance forms.Â All is a gift to Him, for His ultimate plan.Â I love Ann’s thoughts on quotidian liturgy awhile back…Â We work with the rising and setting of the sun, with the ebb and flow of the waves, daily, monotonously, predictably.Â Yet they are offerings.Â It is an act of worship to Him, testifying with our actions that we trust Him enough with the “big stuff” that, while we wait, we can do those daily acts that seem inconsequential.Â It is an acknowledgement that it is He alone that has the power to do anything supernatural.
I pray for that supernatural act in my life, and in the meantime, I feed my daughter breakfast, I return books to the library, and I monotonously pore through cardboard boxes.Â I lie still in my heart and I wait for His purpose to be fulfilled.Â As Ann says:
Like the endless waves lapping on the shore, quietly lilting its song of adoration, so we dance our quotidian dance of praise: dishes and dusting, laundry andâ€¦ liturgy.
posted: 07 January 24