In my corner of the world, I’m looking at brightly-colored leaves that are hanging onto branches for dear life. Many of their cohorts have floated to the ground or have been ripped from trees by gusty fall winds. Bare limbs are starting to appear. There’s a chill in the air. Another season is right around the corner, one that normally brings Iowa the ‘white stuff’ and bone-rattling temperatures.
The leaves remind me of what I feel like I’m doing right now…hanging on.
When my kids were in middle school and they wanted to be anywhere in the universe except 7thgrade, I told them to just hang on—one second, one minute, one hour, one day at a time. They eventually moved past all the hormones, acne, body odor and anguish that plague pubescent human beings.
My 17 month old puppy is deathly afraid of car rides. The first time we brought her home she threw up in the back seat. The poor little thing cannot get in a car without salivating, shaking, shivering or throwing up. What do I tell her even though she can’t speak English? I tell her to just hang on—one second, one minute, one hour, one day at a time. She will eventually arrive someplace wonderful like doggie daycare where she can see all her friends OR arrive back home where she can entertain her old parents and drive them insane.
Seven months in, I haven’t met one person who loves this pandemic. For me, the early days felt like a bad dream. I kept hoping we would wake up and things would be back to ‘normal.’ My next hope was that the pandemic would be short-lived—weeks, not months, and heaven forbid, years. But as the seasons continue to change, reality has set in: we’re in a marathon, not a sprint. I’m now telling myself to just hang on.
In our modern English, ‘hang on’ is really another way of saying: W-A-I-T.
Nooooooooooo! Anything, but that!
Recently, I was reminded of a beautiful passage, written to an ancient people who were in exile for decades (yes, decades.)
Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth
does not become weary or tired.
His understanding is inscrutable.
He gives strength to the weary,
and to him who lacks might He increases power.
Though youths (and old people) grow weary and tired,
and vigorous young men (and old arthritic women) stumble badly,
Yet those who WAIT for the LORD
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.
In this passage, the word ‘wait’ carries the idea of placing expectant hope and trust in Someone greater than yourself or your circumstances.
Clearly, the WAIT Button has been pushed for us, and it’s no longer if we’ll wait, but how we’ll wait.
During ‘our exile from normal,’ may you wait with new strength, increased power, and ‘Energizer Bunny’ endurance. I’m rooting for you, and so is the The Inscrutable One.
Until next time…