Friday, Dec. 23:
AM Psalm 93, 96; PM Psalm 148, 150; Baruch 4:21-29;
Gal. 3:15-22; Luke 1:67-80 or Matt. 1:1-17
I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in His word I put my hope. (Psalm 130:5)
I will never forget the summer of my 18th year when I moved to the beach to live with my brother in the sleepy little town of Manteo, North Carolina. We occupied a rambling old turn-of-the-century house with cracks and creaks and bats that got in through the woodstove. It was primitive and magical.
My days were spent either on the beach or working at a Christmas shop where I sold ornaments and fine art to tourists from New York.
At 5 pm, however, I’d hop into my little red truck and hurry over the Causeway to the Pea Island Wildlife Refuge. There I would sit alone on a dock in the middle of the marsh, waiting for the sun to go down.
I always took my journal. Sometimes I wrote poetry. Often I would just sit. And watch. And wait.
I remember feeling a tinge of sadness as I cheered the sun to its resting place. The day was now officially over. What had I accomplished? What had I neglected? What did I regret?
You wait, wait, wait, and then—poof! Like those sunsets, the waiting is over and the thing you have waited so long for has either been realized or eluded your grasp.
So what’s to be learned then? Waiting, as difficult as it is, is a time for reflection and preparation.
What am I learning about myself while I wait? Am I content living “in the tension”? Or am I restless? Am I impatient?
Am I wasting today worrying about what might, or might not, happen tomorrow? Am I growing—spiritually, emotionally, creatively—so that, whatever the outcome, I can look back and see my time of waiting as a gift from God?
Once more I find myself in a period of waiting. This time I am determined not to waste the wait. This time I will grasp that moment of beauty just before the sun slips behind the horizon. And I will hold on tight.
At least until a new day dawns.
(Today’s exercise: If you have a chance, watch for the setting of the sun. Stand outside and look. Stand prayerfully, thanking God for whatever he brings to mind. If it’s a cloudy day, say a prayer of thanks as you turn your night light off.)