I will wait for the Lord.

Before I launch into my reflection on the readings for this Sunday, I wanted to take a moment to say thank you for all your love, support, and prayers over the past few months! On Friday, May 8, we welcomed Leo John into our family, and this is my first week back after maternity leave. It was not the summer we had anticipated; when I found out I was pregnant, COVID-19 did not even exist! There is something particularly beautiful, though, about welcoming new life in the midst of a pandemic—a reminder that life continues on and that God’s goodness and beauty is still present. 

As I came back to work this week the enormity of the decisions that lay before me regarding programming felt overwhelming. I sat down Monday in my makeshift home office, ready to make my to do list for the day and felt stuck. There are so many decisions to make and things to do to prepare for this unprecedented year, that I just didn’t even know where to begin. And then God, in His goodness, put me in charge of the bulletin article for this week.

The Gospel acclamation for this Sunday is, “I will wait for the Lord, my soul waits for His word.” This is SO what I’m feeling right now. I’m waiting Lord—for you, for your word—to tell me what to do. What should programs look like? How often should I be in the office? How can I bring your love to our teens, while still being safe? Where’s the balance between caution and fear? What do you want from me? Lord, I’m waiting for you! I’m waiting for your word to tell me what to do!

I have been known to plead with the Lord. “Please Lord! Send me just one post-it from heaven that tells me what to do!” In our human nature, we want clear answers, big loud signs, and specific guidance. We want to take the easy path, the one where things are laid out nicely, without having to change how we approach our lives. 

Sometimes the Lord shows us this way with clear words, visions, and signs. But often, it’s not that easy. Elijah goes up to the mountain to encounter God, and it’s not in the strong winds, earthquake, or fire that he encounters God.  It’s in the tiny whispering sound. God reveals himself and his will to us in the tiny whispering sound. And that can be hard, because it forces us to step back from the busyness of our lives to stop and listen.

When I plead for that post-it note, it’s not because the Lord does not hear and answer my need for guidance. It’s because I don’t want to take the time to patiently listen and watch for his guidance in my day.  In fact, in our Gospel for today, we see that when Peter asks for help as he sinks in the waves, Jesus is there immediately. God immediately hears us and answers our cries for help, it just may not be in the simple way we so desire. 

So how do we figure it out? How do I know what to do this year? Where do I start? Our psalm gives us great guidance, “I will hear what God proclaims; the LORD—for he proclaims peace.” Stop. Pause. Listen. Follow God’s peace.  Ask yourself, “Does this decision bring me God’s peace?” Don’t have an answer yet? Keep listening—God is there in the tiny whispering sound.

So as I face the decisions ahead, I am going to do my best to take my own advice—to stop, listen, and follow God’s peace, instead of looking for a post-it from Heaven. Know of my prayers, and please pray for me and the rest of our formation staff, as we finalize our plans for this year!

Elizabeth McCanna
Youth Minister

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