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God, Now

“I can’t wait until Bug can use his words.”

“I can’t wait until Drummer Boy learns to use the big potty.”

“I can’t wait until the business starts to be more consistent.”

“I can’t wait to see Baby Girl M on the outside.”

“I can’t wait until this summer heat is gone.”

Sometimes I spend so much time looking forward to a time when things will be different that I miss the daily joy and blessing of now.  We swore we wouldn’t do that with our children–getting caught up in anticipation of the next stage.  And, usually that’s the easy one.  Even in trying moments, we are still able to say “not yet!”  We are anxious to see the boys’ next steps, but not too quickly.  We can see the joy in soaking up all the current stage has to offer in sweet moments, cute sayings, wide-eyed grins and the fact that they still want to give us hugs and kisses.

It’s the other life situations that get us.  Those grown-up struggles with work, money, relationships–life–are the ones about which we can so easily say “there’s nothing to gain here.” We get tired and frustrated.  We want to move on.  We can’t envision joy, happiness or blessing in the given circumstances.  It’s like we’re in perpetual intermission, waiting for the next act to begin.

I’m reminded of a simple prayer my mother has often prayed:  “Lord, help me to learn quickly.”

It carries with it the basic understanding that there is a purpose in every situation.  There is something valuable to learn that can move us further along to a place of joy.  When the circumstances are tough, when they are hard to endure, all we can do is learn quickly.  Glean what God has for us so that He can move us forward.  Finding the purpose means finding the blessing.  Now.

“I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.  Wait for the Lord, be strong and let your heart take courage. Yes, wait for the Lord.” (psalm 27:13-14)

God is good now.  His promises aren’t confined to streets of gold.  I can experience His abundance, His eternal joy and peace here on earth today–in my real life, regardless of the circumstances.  I CAN “see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”  It is available immediately.

If I spend my days on earth waiting to be happy, and I measure that happiness by the people, jobs and things in my life, then I will live in perpetual disappointment.  If I can learn to see the goodness of the Lord where I am living now (rather than where I might be), then I will fall on my knees in gratitude for what He has given me.  I can learn to be content and accept the wisdom He has for me in THIS moment.  I will not spend my energy complaining or hoping for a better day.  I will not be so presumptuous as to discount the gifts of the Lord because they are not what I had in mind.  I can trust Him to fulfill my desires, and flourish within His blessings.

For the wonder of each our
of the day and of the night
hill and vale and tree and flow’r,
sun and moon, and stars of light:
Christ our God,
to Thee we raise
this our hymn
of grateful praise.

For the joy of human love,
brother, sister, parent, child,
friends on earth, and friends above,
for all gentle thoughts and mild:
Christ our God,
to Thee we raise
this our hymn
of grateful praise.

“For the Beauty of the Earth”
by Folliot Pierpont

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