I mastered the art of gut wrenching sounds over the course of last week. It seemed as though there was a camera on me and I was stuck in some kind of twisted reality show without my knowledge. The only thing I could utter as opposed to cussin’ like a sailor as my mother would say, was large sound erupting from my soul in response to the madness that surrounded me. Every where I turned, I found myself waiting, and apparently not waiting well, because the Lord continued to place me on hold. On the phone, in line, through situations that I sought resolution…simply put, my life lacked movement – or transparently spoken, the movement I desired. Was it by design? I began to feel as though I was relegated to some twisted version of the Truman Show. Still in the midst of this holding pattern God reminded me that I should shift my focus from on hold to hold on! Ugh!
Doesn’t it feel easier sometimes to let go? After all, there is a small quieted part of self that doesn’t always have the faith of the mustard seed to believe that something will actually work out. We live in a world whereby moral courage isn’t celebrated. Hopefulness often muddles through disappointment and the result often confirms our initial doubt. We see those who behave badly acquire more notoriety and more resources to perpetuate their performance. So, it seems only reasonable to believe that if you are doing your level best to follow God’s commands, particularly the big 10, be nice to others, demonstrate gratitude, keep your hands to yourself and tell the truth with love, one should not have to be on hold! Yet, we are reminded in 2 Timothy 2:10, “If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us.” First part of the scripture, I got. Second part, have I denied him? Don’t believe so. However, let me google deny. Here’s what I learned.
Merriam Webster defines deny as: to say that something is not true, to refuse to accept or admit (something) or to refuse to give (something) to someone : to prevent someone from having or receiving (something). Naw, I don’t deny, and then I read one more definition of deny: to restrain (oneself) from gratification of desires. I soberly realized that my doubting, my frustration actually creates space between my current situation and my desires. When I recall that God has promised to grant the desires of my heart (Psalm 37:4), and I don’t believe him (deny) he also has the option to deny me. How I might deny? Not taking advantage of the on hold and realizing its God’s personalized invitation to hold on to him, to take refuge in him, to rely on him, to depend on him, to love and him and most importantly, receive his love in the process. Through the holding process, God is fueling me with that which I need more of…which is him. For example, while on hold with the company that assisted in making my travel arrangements, I waited for a long time. The wait time was so long that I became familiar with the playlist. My most frustrating parts of the experience were when I fought against singing the words to the playlist – songs familiar to me, ones that under more pleasant circumstances, such as riding in a car on a summer day with a cool breeze, if those same songs came on the radio, I would be excited, singing to the top of my lungs. However, on hold, I was upset, angered, tired, and ready to just speak with someone (with all my wasted energy) and give them a piece of my mind – or unfortunately for me, a peace of my mind. After being on hold so long, I began to sing the songs of the playlist, relaxed and calmed down. I became in sync with the situation, and stopped fighting it. Perhaps this is what God expects of us – to stop fighting, get in sync and receive his peace. The situation we are experiencing may not change immediately, within a week, a month, a year or sometimes more, yet while on hold, God compels us to hold on, and not to the situation but to him.
Ugh! Forgive me God, I’m still learning. Thank you for presenting growth opportunities for me. You never said this faith walk would be easy, but you did promise never to leave nor forsake me (Deuteronomy 31:6). I don’t think En Vogue were referring to precisely what I’m referencing, but the words were nevertheless true, “Hold on to your love!” I love you God. I praise you God. I’m yet holding on while I’m on hold. Here’s the ultimate sound, “Hallelujah!”