Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless. Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted; but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And all that is within me, bless his holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And do not forget all his benefits. Psalm 103:1-2
I will be the first to admit that I do not like to wait. And if you don’t like to wait either, then please do not fall in line behind me at the grocery store, the Target, or the bank because I invariably choose the slowest moving line. And traffic often seems to draw to a standstill when I am traveling on any road. This week I watched an interview with former President Obama in which he said one of the biggest jolts upon leaving office was the realization that he now had to wait at stoplights with the rest of us. No longer did he have a motorcade for which the rest of the world gave way. I suppose after eight years one might get used to that.
As you read this on Thursday we will still be one week away from Thanksgiving. Several of my friends have completed their Christmas shopping and are almost done with wrapping. Before Halloween two Facebook friends posted photos of their homes already tastefully adorned for Christmas. And after returning from the beautifully decorated dentist’s office (complete with coastal themed tree), I opened my iPad and found a picture of my beloved grandson standing in front of their Massachusetts home all lit up with Christmas lights. And I wanted to scream, “Wait! Aren’t you rushing the season a bit? What about Thanksgiving?” And I went out to my mailbox and added to my collection of 42 mail order catalogs.
Maybe because many of us are not going to see our far flung families for these holidays, it seems that perhaps, in the words of the song from the musical Mame, “we need a little Christmas, right this very minute.” As we sink deeper into these times of arguing politicians and overflowing hospitals, maybe we do need some bright cheery Christmas lights to lift our spirits. We are weary of waiting. Weary of waiting for the covid-19 pandemic to be over. Weary of Zoom meetings. Weary of waiting to see our families. Weary of feeling lonely and cooped up.
But the Scripture tells us that if we wait on the Lord, it will all be worth it. If we wait, we will run and not be weary and walk and not faint. So in this season, it is all good if you put up your Christmas tree and hang out the lights. But remember who we are, and whose we are, and in this thanksgiving season, let us “bless the Lord…and do not forget all his benefits.”
Spirit of God, descent upon my heart,
wean it from earth, through all its pulses move;
Stoop to my weakness, mighty as thou art,
and make me love thee as I ought to love.
Teach me to feel that thou art always nigh;
teach me the struggles of the soul to bear.
To check the rising doubt, the rebel sigh,
teach me the patience of unanswered prayer.
Pastor Rachel Moser