But they that wait upon the Lord shall… Isaiah 40:31 (KJV)
I’ve observed a curious thing this holiday season. Otherwise capable, level-headed, resilient people sometimes find themselves in holiday frenzies. It’s as if an announcement has just made that there will be a major family holiday in November and an even bigger one a few weeks later in December. I am hearing some folks say:
How do I maintain civility among my grown children over the dinner table?
Will someone invite me to dinner this holiday?
How will I survive the next few hours with…
I wish we could skip…
Could I just pull up the drawbridge until it’s all over?
Enough. Let’s put a stop to the self-orientation and change the focus. This is where waiting comes in. We flip the perspective from me to our Father. If we look up and wait for him,
• Our strength will be renewed. We can receive grace to deal with any unforeseen event (or person); we can filled with love that flows from the Holy Spirit; and we can be patient, kind, gentle, peaceful, self-controlled, and faithful as we draw from those characteristics that await summoning for the occasion.
• We will mount above testy circumstances in anticipation of opportunities to serve.
• Even in these busy times, we will be quick to run, reaching out of ourselves to the ones in front of us.
• And we will walk without fainting in the middle of it all.
Waiting on the Lord means expecting him to arrive; expecting his empowerment; believing that we are the very people he has chosen for this holiday occasion with these people. We must not refuse to lose opportunities to participate in God’s surprises of grace just because we’re too caught up in ourselves and our preferences. We cannot allow ourselves to be robbed of joy and blessing because our focus is on us rather than on our Father who has promised to provide every single thing we need at all times.
Instead, let us wait on the Lord to see what he has planned as we joyfully anticipate his surprise just around the corner…
Father, thank you for opportunities to experience your grace and to go out of ourselves so that your life is evident. Not us but you, Lord. Anytime and all the time. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.