I stood on the sidelines of the asphalt court, baked by the hot summer sun. The volley of balls back and forth across the net mesmerized me. I ran to collect scattered balls and threw them back to my mom when she signaled for one. The release of the ball at the right time accounted for a perfect serve. Feet placed just so kept your body in the correct position to receive the ball when it sailed across the net. My desire was to learn how to play tennis like my mom.
My mom displayed such self-control when playing tennis. Patience in the waiting, and the willingness to release her body to the place where the ball would land, allowed her to become a great tennis player. And I learned a beautiful lesson of releasing control at just the right time while watching my mom play: life is easier when we don’t hold on so tightly that we cannot let go of what God is more than willing to carry. So if tennis is a metaphor for life, how do we release our knuckle-tight grip on our past, present, and future? Doesn’t God promise to love, provide, and walk with us no matter what?
Life is filled with seasons of waiting. Periods of time where we learn to release the mess and posture our hearts toward God. Time when we lack control. But in that season, where nothing seems to be happening, God is preparing us in ways we can’t see. Hope becomes our mantra in the tension and God is where we try to focus our eyes. His word calls us to wait with our whole being:
I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
and in his word I put my hope. Psalm 130:5
I find that when I release my mess in the waiting, who I am becomes better defined. God meets me in my reality and waits for my invitation. All it takes is for me to posture my heart toward receiving and desiring for God to sit awhile with me.
If the game of tennis is waiting for the perfect time and posture to successfully hit the ball, then life mirrors this in our seasons of waiting. It’s knowing it’s okay when the ball does not make it back across the net. It’s holding onto the hope of God when life looks nothing like we imagined.
[Tweet “Release in the waiting is not letting go of the hope of God when life is nothing like we imagined.”]
May hope become your mantra and God the focus of your heart as you posture yourself toward Him to set yourself up for His beautiful plan.
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All I have to say is “Amen!”
I pray God is surrounding you with exactly what you need during this weary season. Love you!
I love this: “All it takes is for me to posture my heart toward receiving and desiring for God to sit awhile with me.” Just posturing, one look, is all it takes, and not all of the striving that we so often think is necessary. He is continuing to teach me more about this! Thanks for sharing this Sunday word!
I can just picture how pleased God is when we invite Him into our lives daily. It takes a refocusing on my part because my heart is sometimes out of sync. But you are right, it only takes one look. Thank you for being here!
Mary, I loved this post as it has my one word 2018 – focus. It is so true that as i keep my heart focused and postured low before Him, I am then prepared and ready for Him to work and reveal His plan. This was such an encouraging post to read tonight! Thank you, Mary!
Focus is such a good word. I find the days my eyes are clearly focused on God are the ones that seem to go better. I am reading the book, God is Able, by Priscilla Shirer and she talks a lot about focus. I thought of you as I was reading it this morning.
Oh, goodness, this non-athletic girl is a coiled spring with a racket in my hand (or a bat, or a ball . . .). That feeling of incompetence triggers a tension that sends me into tight muscles and a hair trigger response. I’ve never thought about this in terms of dealing with the unknown in my walk with God, but I see it, Mary.
I have so much to learn about trust and release.
Thank you for seeing my analogy. Not everyone is made to be good at sports. My mom was one of the blessed ones. But when you think of sports and the science behind them it makes sense that a certain posture is needed. It is the same in our walk with God. We will always find the right path when we posture ourselves toward God.
I love the tennis analogy and especially this line: “All it takes is for me to posture my heart toward receiving and desiring for God to sit awhile with me.” This reminds me of how many times my heart is postured elsewhere. Thanks for the reminder to turn toward Him, abide in Him, and wait expectantly for what He is about to perform.
My mom was quite the tennis player and somehow the game of tennis seemed fitting for what I was trying to get across. I make it so difficult for God sometimes. Instead of just inviting Him onto my mess right where I am, I try to fix it and make it worse. I love the idea of waiting expectantly as and as we approach Easter I am going to take this idea with me as I walk toward the cross.