Thursday, February 3, 2011

Patience and Expectation

The mother of expectation is patience.  The French author Simone Weil writes in her notebooks: "Waiting patiently in expectation is the foundation of the spiritual life."  Without patience our expectation degenerates into wishful thinking.  Patience comes from the word "patior" which means to suffer.  The first thing that Jesus promises is suffering: "I tell you...you will be weeping and wailing...and you will be sorrowful."  But he calls these pains birth pains.  And so, what seems a hindrance becomes a way; what seems to be an obstacle becomes a door; what seems a misfit becomes a cornerstone.  Jesus changes our history from a random series of sad incidents and accidents into a constant opportunity for a change of heart.  To wait patiently therefore means to allow our weeping and wailing to become the purifying preparation by which we are made ready to receive the joy which is promised to us.

from Out of Solitude by Henri J.M. Nouwen

7 comments:

Dillon said...

This is very encouraging! It seems strange to be encouraged by the realization that patience means the same as suffering, but it gives me an odd comfort to know that. It's hard being patient for the Lord, but that doesn't mean we've got something wrong. It's supposed to be hard. Thanks, Kaitie!

Allison said...

I agree with Dillon. Reading this was like taking a breath of fresh air. Thank you for sharing this. An arrow of hope.

Kait said...

yeah, I was just thinking about the wording of the trait "long-suffering" being equated with patience...

justjess said...

This is intersting to me. It's funny that as we grow in spritual capacity it seems that it takes patience and sometimes feels like a very mild form of "suffering." As we grow in patience and capacity we are able to sit longer in the waiting and read more and hear Him better.

Stephanie Griggs said...

I really enjoy nouwen. The many books I've read by him always land themselves on my "favorites" list. Great to read this snippet, thanks for sharing.

Jeremy said...

this is really really good to hear/read.

Lauren Blake said...

beautifully said, now Lord let this truth go deep inside of me.

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