Excerpt from As Kingfishers Catch Fire by Eugene Peterson
The blank space, the unmarked, unexplained transition from the cry for help to the celebratory thanksgiving, is fairly common in Psalms. It turns out that a lot happens in that blank space. And we have a name for it: growing up in Christ. It is the wind you can’t see that makes the leaves flutter, the clouds scud, and the sails billow. It is the Spirit of God moving over the “form and void” (Genesis 1:2) of our spirits. We would very much like to be in charge of this transition into Christian maturity, but we cannot be. The work and the presence of the Wind, Holy Wind work, is in the blank space between the lines and is the main thing, but it is a mystery to which we can only submit. We cannot manipulate or control the Wind-Spirit that forms us and sets us free in the land of the living. Our only access to it is prayer.
So it is fitting that we pause at this blank space on the page and reflect on what goes on when we aren’t doing anything. Prayer is not a way in which we order things; it is a way in which we become ordered. The primary action in prayer comes from God, and more often than not he does not act in ways we can duplicate or even recognize at the time. Whether we like it or not or expect it or not, we enter a mystery when we pray. Most of us never quite get used to this. Do we ever get used to mysteries? We want to know how it works so we can do it too, so we are able to take charge of things (or others) ourselves. God knows that if we knew what he knows, we would quickly depersonalize what we know into information or figure out a shortcut that bypassed intimacy.
- Eugene Peterson As Kingfishers Catch Fire