“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning.” (Psalm 130:5-6)
We spend far too much time in this life trying to fortify a manufactured self, rather than allowing God to peel away all of the accumulated layers of falseness, so he can show us what is most true and beautiful. This cannot be done by trying, but by trusting. It will not happen by endless effort and willpower and activity, but by learning how to wait for the Lord.
The secret to becoming our truest selves always involves waiting for the Lord. If we do not wait, we will never become who and what we were meant to be. We can’t force or contrive of manufacture of control our own transformation, it is a work of the Spirit. All we can do is wait—make time and space to sit openly before him as he does the work, in his own time and in his own way.
One hint, however: our truest self will always result in us looking more and more like Jesus, who “made himself nothing,” rather than trying to make himself something. (Philippians 2:7) Thus, only when we stop trying to “make ourselves something” and start trying to “make ourselves nothing” can we ever hope to find our truest selves. We find our lives by losing them. (Mt. 10:39) We find our truest self, by letting go of all of the false selves that we have somehow convinced ourselves through the years are true. And, irony of ironies, it is not until my life stops being about me that I can ever hope to discover who I truly am. In the kingdom of God, we always have to “die to become.”
Help me, O Lord, to learn what it means to wait for you. And help me to resist the temptation to think everything—even my own transformation—is up to me. Amen.