I don’t know when I stopped being grateful. I don’t know when I stopped counting gifts and numbering graces. But I did and I am soul-sick for the lack of contentment in my heart.
I walk to the edge of the parking lot and stare out into the woods, watching a small stream trickle down through the rain-drenched ground. A cardinal flits and lands on a branch, catches my eye with its red beak and I think of the lilies of the field, the birds of the air, and I know that I’m supposed to consider them but somehow I can’t quite remember why and what it is the birds of the air have to teach us. Was it something about worry and tomorrow? But I am consumed with tomorrow, it has become the place where all will be as it should be, and I have failed to abide in today with its fullness, full-well knowing that King David meant today when he spoke of his head being anointed with oil, his feast being prepared, his cup overflowing.
My cup overflows. Today. In this moment. Right now, right where I stand, drops of oil stream down my face from this present-day anointing.
Instead I live as a petulant child patted on the head with a patronizing, “You poor thing. Maybe someday.” This is not my inheritance. Nor is it yours. We stand in the fullness of our inheritance now, in this present moment, sons and daughters, and that inheritance is available for our spending.
But try spending something you don’t believe you have? It’s a constant sense of lack, an ever present deficit that wearies the soul and darkens the mind.
Living in the red can make you see black.
All things, dark and dreary, not enough, and up ahead, in our tomorrow, that’s where our abundance lies. And we’ll get there if we can just survive today. So we strain against the moorings, eager to launch into the treacherous waters of the sea without a second thought for the blessedness of our stay in this particular port of call, docked precisely where we need to be at the moment. To refuel. To unload. To rest from the battering of the ocean.
We forget the danger awaiting us in the deep, remembering only the promise of adventure on the high seas. We forget just how much we will have needed this rest and refueling when we get there. We forget that the He who is faithful, the He who will do it? He is our He, He is our Father, He has called us sons and daughters, and if I am a daughter, then I am also an heir.
And so I come nose to nose with this truth: waiting is part of my inheritance. Waiting is part of being a daughter. Because waiting is part of life. But because I live life as a daughter and an heir, then I get to live waiting as an heir. I get to live waiting within His glorious riches. I don’t have to live waiting barren, forsaken, hopeless. I can live waiting content.
Which means I can still occasionally strain against the moorings because I know my Father has good things out on the bounding main, and I am beside myself with excitement to get there and see what He’s up to. I can spend my breath thanking Him for the grace of the here and now, even as my heart whispers: Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders. Let me walk upon the waters, wherever You would call me…
In the meantime, I live waiting content, even if now and then you see my ropes snap taut. And I can know that one day, those cables will break.
And He’ll send the tide in to carry me out.