The Slow Work of God

Prayer of Teilhard de Chardin

Patient Trust

Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
We are quite naturally impatient in everything
to reach the end without delay.
We should like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way to something
unknown, something new.
And yet it is the law of all progress
that it is made by passing through
some stages of instability—
and that it may take a very long time.

And so I think it is with you;
your ideas mature gradually—let them grow,
let them shape themselves, without undue haste.
Don’t try to force them on,
as though you could be today what time
(that is to say, grace and circumstances
acting on your own good will)
will make of you tomorrow.
Only God could say what this new spirit
gradually forming within you will be.
Give Our Lord the benefit of believing
that his hand is leading you,
and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself
in suspense and incomplete.

Slow Work.

I finished my first term of Grad School this week. While I should be rejoicing over the finality of the accomplishment, I find myself dwelling over these words — “Trust in the slow work of God”.

Slow. Work.

Over the past four months the veil over my eyes has been lifted. Through soul work, therapy, and some gracious, truth-telling new friends, I began to see the chink in my armor. I realized that I had repressed so much hurt, pain, and trauma from my past that I impressively convinced myself that everything was fine. I was wrong. I am definitely not fine.

I find myself at the foot of a very large mountain, preparing myself for the most challenging climb of my life…a climb that will be slow work.

I fully comprehend that I am being molded by God. I am being shaped and crafted and sculpted by the hands of a Healer, a Creator, a Father, yet like many of us I want to skip over the next few years and get to the good part of being fully and completely transformed. This work is painful and I don’t have the patience, nor the perseverance, for this work to be slow. Yet, my spirit has come to understand that…

God’s work is most meaningful when done slowly.

I can see the woman I desire to be. She stands on the shore of a raucous ocean. She’s beautiful. She’s radiant. She beams the light of Christ. While she is standing on the dry land of the earth, my current self is treading water in the waves. The waves push me towards the shore, closer to the woman on the land, but as soon as I reach out my hand to grasp her, the current sweeps me back into the turbulent sea. This continues — back and forth, back and forth. There are times when I get so close I can almost touch her, but then I’m pulled so far back into the ocean that she becomes a tiny speck, a dot, a woman that may or may not even be there.

My heart yearns to be complete. My heart aches, to finally reach the dry land and transform into the beautiful woman I see on the shore. My prayers for patience aren’t sufficient and my heart burns with desire to be done with this work and to joyously move on from this painful place. How can I endure? How can I go on? The waves of this ocean are tiresome and there are parts of me that would prefer to drown.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” – Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the slow work of God.

“And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.” – Psalm 9:10

Trust in the slow work of God.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9

Trust in the slow work of God.

I don’t have any answers right now. I don’t have a pithy conclusion or cheeky anecdote for the end of my message. I am in the middle of a messy place and I carry the ambiguity of an unanswerable situation. All I can offer is what’s been offered to me by a mighty God — trust, strength, and courage.

It may seem like I have lost hope. Oh, dear friends, I certainly have not. My hope is in the Lord. My hope is in an Abba, a Father, a Daddy, a God who passionately loves me and yearns for my transformation. My hope is in the One who is holding me close to His heart and is keeping me from drowning in the stormy sea.

My hope is in the slow work.


2 thoughts on “The Slow Work of God

  1. Pingback: Giving Glory. | Where In The World Is Kelsey?

  2. Pingback: Psalm 37 :: Delight in the Lord. | Where In The World Is Kelsey?

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