Daily Riches: A Spirituality of Waiting (Henri Nouwen) *

“To wait open-endedly is an enormously radical attitude toward life. So is to trust that something will happen to us that is far beyond our imaginings. So, too, is giving up control over our future and letting God define our life, trusting that God molds us according to God’s love and not according to our fear. The spiritual life is a life in which we wait, actively present to the moment, trusting that new things will happen to us, new things that are far beyond our own imagination, fantasy, or prediction. That, indeed, is a very radical stance toward life in a world preoccupied with control.”  Henri Nouwen

“Hear my cry for help,
my King and my God,
for to you I pray.
In the morning, Lord,
you hear my voice;
in the morning
I lay my requests before you
and wait expectantly.”
Psalm 5:2,3

Moving From Head to Heart

  • Are you willing to try to resist your fears and allow God to “mold you according to his love?”
  • Nouwen describes our world as one “preoccupied with control.” What are you attempting to control in your life that you need to relinquish to God?
  • Take a moment to open your hands to God and pray, releasing control to him of whatever you may be grasping, and welcoming whatever it is he wants to give you in his love. Are you able to do that? How does it make you feel?

Abba, help me to succeed in “waiting patiently in expectation” (Simone Weil) rather than trying to control my life and those around me. Help me to trust you when I’m disillusioned, anxious, confused, angry, frustrated, in a hurry, or when I feel like you’re not paying attention. Help me to embrace the anxiety that is a part of waiting well.


For More: “A Spirituality of Waiting” by Henri Nouwen (PDF)


“A faith without doubts is like a human body with no antibodies in it. People who blithely go through life too busy or indifferent to ask the hard questions about why they believe as they do will find themselves defenseless against either the experience of tragedy or the probing questions of a smart skeptic. A person’s faith can collapse almost overnight if she failed over the years to listen patiently to her own doubts, which should only be discarded after long reflection” – Tim Keller  In these Daily Riches I hope to encourage “long reflection” rather than simplistic faith. Thanks for reading and sharing this daily blog! – Bill (Psalm 90:14)