Updated: Dec 29, 2022
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; Psalm 130:5
“This is Christmas, the season of perpetual hope!” In or out of context, this line from the classic movie Home Alone is gospel truth. But this year, as I watched this movie for the hundredth time, I saw two very distinct “hopes” and began to wonder about my own life.
You see, the mom in this movie, Kate McCallister, is just like you and me. She has a house full of in-laws, she’s frazzled trying to get her family packed and ready to go on a big holiday trip to Paris, and has a sassy 8 year old, Kevin, that just wants some attention. We can all empathize with her, but secretly judge her parenting when she accidentally leaves Kevin at home to fight off the city’s worst burglars. (Thankfully, our 5 year old son was only alone for 10 minutes that Sunday we forgot him…after 7 years, he still won’t let us forget it!)
While, likely, none of us have experienced this exact situation, I saw myself in Kate as she attempted to get home to her little boy. Kate is presented with two options. She can wait a couple of days in Paris for the first available (guaranteed) flight home, or she can try to fly standby. Like any distraught mother, she decides to beg, borrow and bulldoze her way onto any flight that keeps her moving closer to her son.
I began to ask myself, "How many times in life have options been before me that provided equivocal outcomes, but perhaps one allowed me to feel like I was more ‘in control’ rather than patiently waiting on God to open a clear pathway on my behalf? How often do I put my hope in myself?”
Kate thought she could make things happen. She thought waiting it out would mean she was a bad mom and that she’d get home too late to help her son. However, in the end, she only managed to arrive at home a few minutes before the rest of the family. And what did she truly gain? She gained stress, loss of finances, anger and a 12 hour ride in the back of a rental truck with a polka band named The Kenoshka Kickers.
So often, the option to place our hope in our Heavenly Father and wait on God seems excruciatingly painful. We don’t know what He is doing, or how things will work out. Waiting requires a level of patience and faith that stretches us out of our comfort zone of control. It can sometimes feel like we are observing life happen; as if we are watching a snow globe settle after it’s been shaken.
Have you experienced a time like this in your life? Have you ever wondered if your involvement would have made a difference? Have you wondered if you could you have gotten to the end result in a “better” way if you hadn’t chosen to wait on the Lord?
As we began to look ahead to the new year, let’s commit to the wait. Let’s be willing to watch God; to take that guaranteed flight He is preparing, even if it means that we lose that feeling of control. We can live with a sense of perpetual hope in each circumstance, knowing that God is our source, not ourselves.