Emilie Griffin writes that prayer is resting in God’s provision.
“God wants to draw us in. He wants us to know his affection. Authentic prayer begins when we turn ourselves over to the grace of God. It is not a prayer of making requests, of trying to get things done or figured out. This kind of ‘resting in God’ is not a matter of doing, but of undoing. Resting in the love of the Spirit, we are sustained by the power of the living God.”
During the past two years, I completed my dissertation and applied for many jobs. My prayers have been filled with searching for God’s direction in a world (academia) that I perceived is not so attuned to divine leadership. I have been asking but it seems like more doors are closing than opening. In other words, I’ve done a lot of what one writer of Psalms calls striving. Psalms 46:10 (NASV) says, “Cease striving and know that I am God.” The words “cease striving” in Hebrew mean to let hang down; to be relaxed, slackened, especially the hands.
During the past two months, I have literally tried to rest in God’s provision by taking my “hands off” applying for jobs and imagining what our life might be like in those places. Conflating again my mind and body, I rest on my back at yoga (again) just lying there in the presence of God. Rising up, I have a renewed sense that Mitch, my husband, has incredible gifts that are being honed to lead him in a new direction. Our agreement was that after I finished my Ph.D. I would take the lead in finding a job and he would figure out what to do wherever that might be. Those were my plans, our plans. Last week I again heard, out loud, the words of my beloved Frederick Buechner in his piece about healing, “If God doesn’t seem to be giving you what you ask, maybe he’s giving you something else.”
Joy is resting in God’s provision.