Like a blinking yellow traffic light for the soul, Rebecca Brewster Stevenson’s Christian inspiration book Wait seeks meaning and hope in expectation, reimagining waiting as a prayerful avenue to finding God’s grace.
Sometimes God answers prayers with a clear “yes,” sometimes a disappointing “no,” but most troubling to Stevenson is the dreaded “wait.” Stevenson uses her family’s lost jobs and financial struggles as a backdrop to consider what it means to wait, with hope, for solutions, but no clear, practical way of reaching them. This kind of waiting is about longing, struggle, and passion, but happens without any place to put all of the needed emotional energy—the struggle that happens between “not yet” and “yes.”
Wait is organized in classic exegetical style. Like a good sermon, it dives deep into the biblical idea of waiting, first finding inspiration in the waiting of the exiles and then moving into the gospels and the struggles of the disciples. This format works well, making the point that waiting has always been a part of God’s plan for human beings. The trick, the book says, is to find a way to transform one’s sense of expectation into a more wholesome, less grasping expectancy of God’s goodness.
The book’s willingness to explore the muddiness of Christian hope, especially given the realities of contemporary life and struggles with money and careers, makes its work feel genuine and true. There is refreshing honesty in Stevenson’s openness to sharing these darker realities without any slathering on of a superficial gloss or cheap spirituality. While there are some answers in the text, its more important content is its lesson about understanding what it means to wait.
Wait is a necessary source of comfort for those plagued by intractable problems.
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