Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – November 27, 2020
By Jill Hooper
And now, Lord for what do I expectantly wait? My hope is in You. Psalm 39:7
The day after Thanksgiving usually brings a few thoughts to mind: “I shouldn’t have eaten so much, I can’t wait to do my Black Friday shopping, I can’t wait to watch football, I’m glad that’s over, I wish that wasn’t over, how will we afford Christmas,” and maybe, “I wish I could just sleep until the new year.” Or, should I shift my expectations to the One who always satisfies?
Sometimes we live from holiday to high point at the speed of light, only slowing in between to think about what we can look forward to next. Alternately, we might be overcome with the sense that the holidays and high points are never really happy or high. Either way, there may be an underlying discomfort and a dull murmur in us whispering that nothing is quite as it should be.
Problems that are problems before the holidays continue to press pain into our lives “post” the moments of celebration. Post—covid, election, football game, shopping excursion, Thanksgiving or vacation, there are still bills to pay, the food is cold, the house is a mess and we still hurt. When blame doesn’t ease the disquiet, we slowly begin to admit that the issue could be inside, instead of out there.
Disappointment can leave us cynical, fearful, hidden, angry, discouraged, resentful, tired and ungrateful. How do we find our way back to the abundant life? Is there a way to fill up that top half of the glass and experience the full life God promised?
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I [Jesus] have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10, NKJV).
There’s not a to-do list instructing us to a fuller, freer life. If there were such a list, most of us would start checking it off with fervor. If we are honest, we know that to-do lists don’t discern God’s will. We have to transfer from our to-dos to His to-dones. There’s not a self-help seminar, but a Savior; not a 12 step group, but a Guide; not a detailed plan, but a purpose for you. There’s not a formula. There’s a Friend… But you already know that, right? Yeah, I get it.
My friend, Sarah, lived on the streets for two and a half years. She begged and pleaded for money, she dug food out of restaurant trash receptacles, she slept with a cardboard box underneath her and some plastic trash bags over her. Today she lives a beautiful, productive life, full of joy and hope—not just for herself, but for others too. Her contentment is overflowing and infectious. If you ask her how she does it she will tell you that every morning she kneels and thanks God for clean underwear, her bed, heat, food, and clothing. She takes no provision for granted and she doesn’t stress over her problems. She puts her expectations fully on the One who has promised and is able to keep her now and forever. Sarah says that’s the secret. Expectations in God!
Do we expect deep, unwavering joy from events, things and people? Or is our expectation on the One who never wavers? Are we pouring our hope into things that change like the wind or into Jesus, our anchor?
Maybe your soul feels homeless. Perhaps your emotions have felt like flat cardboard and you’ve been looking for something in the holidays, the games, the marriage, the job, the addiction, the affair, the church work, but it all seems like trash—useless. And your life feels fake, plastic. Faith makes God a home for the soul, hope for the heart, peace in the pain. Big faith expects from God in every small thing. Go to Him. Learn of Him. Rest in Him. Expect Him to love you.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).
Heavenly Father, all my hope is in Jesus, I praise you for your sweet forgiveness and unfailing love, in Jesus’ name, amen.
What expectation do I need to shift from myself or others to the Lord?
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