They Also Serve Who Only Stand and Wait…

Ready or not, a new year has begun. Budgets, diets, schedules, and new lists of resolutions should be made by now…here in this 3rd week of January.  I like the feeling of hopefulness about all that lies ahead, but I have to admit, another feeling competes with that hopefulness. It’s a feeling of “Wait a minute! I am at the starting line, the guy has just fired the gun to start the race, but where are we running? How far do we have to go? and WHY are there not pointers showing which way to even run?!” 

Do you ever feel that way?  Spiritually, I am especially aware of this deep hunger to be found in the center of God’s will, doing whatever He has in mind…but I am clueless as to what that actually is!  My pessimistic mind usually fills in the blank with whatever is least desirable or requires the most amount of self denial, forcing the Holy Spirit, like a referee stepping in, to gently remind me that is not how God “wills”.
A couple years ago, in a study with my mentors, Sara and Ava, we studied this beautiful poem by John Milton, that has stuck with me ever since, and given me peace on these days when I wait…

On His Blindness
John Milton (1604-1674)
When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
And that one Talent which is death to hide
Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest He returning chide,
“Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?”
I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies, “God doth not need
Either man’s work or his own gifts. Who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is kingly: thousands at his bidding speed,
And post o’er land and ocean without rest;
They also serve who only stand and wait.”
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