Its been a while since I posted. We find ourselves in a new year, but to me, nothing has changed. Things are just as stagnant as they were before. Which leads me to this particular part of scripture:
22 And when the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”) 24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.” 25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27 And inspired by the Spirit he came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law, 28 he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,
29 “Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace,
according to thy word;
30 for mine eyes have seen thy salvation
31 which thou hast prepared in the presence of all peoples,
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and for glory to thy people Israel.”
33 And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him; 34 and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother,
“Behold, this child is set for the fall[d] and rising of many in Israel,
and for a sign that is spoken against
35 (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also),
that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed.”
Simeon had been long awaiting that day. We can only imagine how many years, how many decades, he had waited for the Lord’s anointed to be revealed. That takes an impressive amount of patience, of endurance. But of course, Fortitude is one of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. But it also takes Hope. Simeon had hope that he would live to see that day. And he did. Where so many before him had not, he himself was able to see it- to see Him.
Hope can be a powerful force. But we must be careful what we place our hope in. Our hope should be placed in God, not in the works or words of men.
Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord, O my soul!
2 I will praise the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praises to my God while I have being.
3 Put not your trust in princes,
in a son of man, in whom there is no help.
4 When his breath departs he returns to his earth;
on that very day his plans perish.
5 Happy is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the Lord his God,
6 who made heaven and earth,
the sea, and all that is in them;
who keeps faith for ever;
7 who executes justice for the oppressed;
who gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets the prisoners free;
8 the Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
the Lord loves the righteous.
9 The Lord watches over the sojourners,
he upholds the widow and the fatherless;
but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.
10 The Lord will reign for ever,
thy God, O Zion, to all generations.
Praise the Lord!
I have found myself increasingly adopting an attitude of resignation in my life. Even as most aspects of my life continue to improve, I continue to fail to fulfill my vocation. To say this is vexing would be the understatement of the year. And it puts my in a position where I am not sure what to do. Do I continue to hope for the best? Or should I put that hope aside and reorient my life with the expectation I never marry? Unlike Simeon, I don’t have the Lord telling me what will happen, one way or the other. I only have human beings. And I know better than to place my trust or hope in them.
A myriad of possibilities fill my mind. Perhaps I am missing the signals, perhaps I am screwing up somewhere, and so on. However, I prefer to think that this is a test of faith. God continually tests us, as though we were gold or silver in a crucible. One such way of doing so is not telling us what will happen next in our lives. To have us walk forward boldly without knowing where we are going. It requires true faith to keep going without knowing for sure. Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2 For by it the men of old received divine approval. 3 By faith we understand that the world was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was made out of things which do not appear. (Hebrews 11:1-2).
The assurance I have is not as to any specifics of what will happen with me, only that God loves me and wants what is best for me. Which of course is not the same thing as what I want. And so I keep walking forward on that path, not knowing where my next step will place me- but with the assurance that at the end of the path is my Father’s House, where He is waiting for me.