I’ve said before that I am not good at waiting. I can be patient – under the right circumstances. But standing in line pretty much drives me crazy. And being “on hold” to talk with someone is just as bad. (Maybe worse if the “hold music” is really bad!) When I am in those situations, I will usually experience a rising level of frustration as I think of all the other things I could be accomplishing. If it continues, at some point, I reach my limit. I will step out of the line or hang up the phone. Cindi deserves your prayer and sympathy for having to put up with me on those days!
There are a lot of ways in which COVID-19 has put this year “on hold.” General, Jurisdictional and Annual Conferences have been delayed. Ministries have been shelved. New staff members have been met over ZOOM meetings instead of in person. Conversations about the future of the UMC have slowed greatly and hang in limbo. Many of us have had personal plans which have been paused. Businesses have had to postpone plans and events. If you have tried to buy a major appliance lately, especially a refrigerator or freezer, you have experienced the frustration caused by manufacturing shutdowns. Travel has become difficult in novel ways. And we have the whole “going back to school or doing school at home” challenge. The whole world feels like it has been put “on hold.” And there is no way to step out of line or hang up the phone.
In the midst of the most challenging and frustrating days, I am reminded to “Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10) I need to stop. I need to breathe. I need to remember who I am and Whose I am. I need to refocus myself on the One in Whose hand all time is held – including my time.
John 10:28-30 reminds us that we are held in God’s hands. We are secure in the strength of God’s love and compassion. No power can remove us. In those moments when being “on hold” begins to push my spirit to an uncomfortable place, I remind myself that even when I am “on hold,” God still holds me. And that helps me “hold on.”
Be still. Know that He is God. Breathe. Know that you are held. God’s love and compassion is what we need to “hold on” in the midst of a year “on hold.”