Today is a big day for me. My friend Linda will arrive later this morning. She was scheduled to arrive yesterday, but ran into a whole host of travel issues that prevented that from happening. While I am certain there were moments when her NO COMPLAIN NOVEMBER resolve was threatened (she reports it was “broken”–lol), I loved that as we ended our day she was expressing gratitude for those very delays that kept her from arriving as scheduled because they also might have kept her safe and made today’s arrival possible.
Linda and I haven’t seen each other in awhile, so there will be lots of catching up to do as we go about preparing for this evening when we will gather with over 300 women at my church to celebrate the beginning of the Advent season. We’ll be a little early–Advent officially begins on December 3rd this year–but this is the time we have available on our church calendar, so we’re getting a head start on celebrating the coming gift of the Christ-child.
I’m pretty sure God won’t mind.
For hundreds of years, God’s people looked for their Messiah. Some got tired of waiting. Others just quit. Some, like Anna and Simeon, lived long lives in anticipation. That sounds like something that might give rise to complaint, but they somehow managed to overcome that impulse and stay alert and ready to receive their promise from God.
One of the meanings for the name Simeon is: “obedient listener,” while Anna’s name means “favor, grace, and beautiful.” I want to be like both of them. It’s hard to anticipate the good God has in store for us and still complain. They both exhibited lives that were the very essence of Hope, Faith, Love, and Joy.
Yes, I want to be like them: ready to hear and be obedient as I anticipate experiencing the beautiful grace and favor of God. As He makes me wait, I even want to choose to celebrate the wait and see it as God giving me more time to enjoy the anticipation of His blessing in my life. Full disclosure: I may need some help on that one, but I want to look forward to seeing God at any moment and be excited when I do.
He still shows up, you know. Most of the time He’s quieter than our complaints, so it’s easy to miss Him…
…and that’s a whole other reason to practice NO COMPLAIN NOVEMBER. I plan to listen and anticipate. How about you?
Grace and Peace!
(If you have time today, read the story of Simeon and Anna as they met God in the temple. You can find out more in Luke 2:25-38.)