There’s something about simple faith that begs our attention, especially in vulnerable seasons, where the heart teeters between uncertainty and hope.
We want to believe God is moving behind the scenes to work a hard situation for good, but current circumstances appear otherwise.
You know the feeling?
I was reminded of this truth a while back, through the words of my two year old nephew, Owen.
From five states away, his small, raspy voice crackled over the phone line.
“I’m coming to your house – ‘To the next day’!” he chirped, excitement lacing his tone.
“I can’t wait,” I responded with a smile, playing along with the familiar script, and adding my own enthusiasm to the cute phrase he coined upon learning of the vacation.
He was coming. But the visit was still weeks away.
In order to prepare him for a brief separation from his parents while they went on an anniversary cruise, my sister mentioned the trip south, and that was all it took for Owen to latch hold of the idea.
He knew adventure waited somewhere ahead, and ‘To the next day’ became code for, “I’ll see you soon!”
Yet with each tomorrow that passed, his hope never wavered.
After the conversation was over, Owen passed the phone back to my sister before heading off to play, embracing the sweet innocence of toddler life.
It was a little routine we enjoyed in the months leading up to our time together, and I marveled at his steadfast faith, knowing Owen didn’t fully comprehend the wait.
Nevertheless, he pursued each day with passion, even while holding anticipation close at heart.
The story is one filled with lessons in faith, a reminder to embrace each day with fresh energy, coupled with unfailing optimism for the future, especially during long seasons of waiting.
When you and I find ourselves faced with unanswered prayers, and complex situations difficult to unravel.
Or when we travel the road of unmet expectations, struggling to piece together God’s plan for our lives.
There is often a delicate, almost awkward balance of holding hope in our hearts while embracing reality with our hands.
It’s a vulnerable place that poses an important question.
When the light of tomorrow seems far away, can we cling to the truth that God is with us today?
With these thoughts in mind, I’m reminded of Simeon and Anna in Luke 2.
The passage provides a brief glimpse into the lives of two Biblical examples who pursued their immediate calling, while holding on to hope for the promise of Israel.
Each story is different, but both intersect in a powerful way through common purpose and vision.
And they believed.
Just as you and I are called to do – in the ordinary moments and on the hard days. When God comes through according to our time line.
And when He doesn’t.
Finally though, the patience of Simeon and Anna blossomed into sweet appreciation when they beheld the glory of God through Jesus Christ Himself as a newborn baby.
And the wait was worth every minute.
The anticipation we carry doesn’t compare to that of Simeon and Anna, but it can often feel as though we are waiting for Jesus to arrive on the scene with hope and solutions, just as they were.
But the good news is, His presence remains.
Seasons come and go in a perpetual cycle of harsh edges, soft colors, fragrant blossoms and golden light.
Each one carries pain, but each one also carries a much greater measure of beauty.
God alone knows when to turn the tide, and if it’s according to His will, “To the next day” is still coming.
But can we hold on to faith and embrace our right now life in the meantime?
Remembering that God is a present help in time of trouble can help us realize that delayed dreams need not overshadow the beauty of our current circumstances.
Because this walk of faith is a gift, laden with grace filled moments from above.
But it’s up to us to seize each one and make it count for good.