In our family last year, we received a notification that Father’s Day was being cancelled because a certain family member was turning 60 on that day … and priorities are priorities! This year I was told it would be delayed because of a death in the family. I am sort of wondering if next year it will be on the calendar at all (LOL).
This got me to thinking about the class of 2020. Many graduation ceremonies were delayed. Some celebrations were totally cancelled. Yet, in spite of it all, graduation ceremonies and celebrations went on … one way or another … for most who were willing to be flexible and creative. Though some, I am sure, lost out on a few credits and may be wondering right now if they will ever graduate, all is not lost for them either.
“Woe is me!” cried Isaiah as he was drawn into the presence of the Lord God (Isaiah 6.5). His goal was simply to delay, or preferably cancel, this God-made appointment. But God would have nothing to do with it. Instead, God sent an angel to Isaiah, “and in his hands was a glowing coal that he had taken from the altar with tongs. He touched Isaiah’s mouth with it and said, ‘Now that this has touched your lips, your iniquity is removed, and your sin atoned for.’” (Isaiah 6.6-7) With this simple, angelic action, God created Isaiah’s willingness to say, “Here am I. Send me.” (Isaiah 6.8) He then goes on to become the clearest Christocentric prophet of the Old Testament.
Jesus says it this way, “Don’t worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothing? … Can any of you add one moment to his life span by worrying? … But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.” (Matthew 6.25, 27, 33) Keith Richards and Mick Jagger said it this way back in 1968. “You can’t always get what you want … But if you try sometimes, well, you just might find you get what you need.” Though we may often become frustrated because what God wants our lives to be is totally different from our wants, he still always manages to give us what we need.
Some may say that the story of my life is delaying the inevitable. I, personally, had “canceled” stamped on God’s plan for my life. And when God would have nothing to do with my wants, there was many a time when I echoed Isaiah saying, “Woe is me!” Since then, though clearly not a present-day Isaiah, he has been using me as a Christocentric servant now for quite a few years. And he has always met all our needs. How does that song go? “You can’t always get what you want …”
So, what does God have in mind for the class of 2020? For that matter, what does he have in mind for all of us through this process of international pandemic? One thing I can tell you for sure – it is more than just a 60-game baseball season with its delayed start and canceled games. Rather, I am certain that he is up to his creative self … making things new … rescuing us from ruts … promising that …”if you try sometimes, well, you just might find you get what you need” … because it’s always right there in front of you.
In fact, this international pandemic may be providing our instant-gratification and quick-fix-demanding society just what we need! Our lives put on hold (delayed). Our plans shattered (canceled). And our God sending his angelic messengers to us with the good news that Christ is in the center of it all saying, “Don’t worry about your life. … Simply seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.”
The class of 2020 (and all of us) – according to God’s plan – will have the opportunity to come out of this year much healthier than we were before. I can already see the list of incredible blessings and opportunities growing. Some things have been delayed – for our good. Other items have been canceled – for our good. And I, for one, can’t wait to see what will be created through this by our gracious Lord Jesus Christ.
And, in case you were wondering, we will be celebrating Father’s Day this evening!