It is Groundhog Day! One of my favorite days of the year. Remember the movie about Groundhog Day where the day just keeps repeating itself? I thought about that as I left church this morning.
Lately, I have been frustrated because I feel like I am stuck in an endless cycle. I have been repeatedly praying for God’s help with a situation and it does not seem to be improving. Indeed, I was starting to think of giving up. As I thought about this and Groundhog Day, I was reminded of Jesus’ parable:
Then he told them a parable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary. He said, “There was a judge in a certain town who neither feared God nor respected any human being. And a widow in that town used to come to him and say, ‘Render a just decision for me against my adversary.’ For a long time the judge was unwilling, but eventually he thought, ‘While it is true that I neither fear God nor respect any human being, because this widow keeps bothering me I shall deliver a just decision for her lest she finally come and strike me.’” The Lord said, “Pay attention to what the dishonest judge says. Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night? Will he be slow to answer them? I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
And then I thought of Paul’s words to the Thessalonians:
Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
(This also made me think of Dory in Finding Nemo: “Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming.”)
And then I suddenly realized how silly it was for me to get frustrated with things not moving forward as quickly as I would like. I am grateful that God is more patient than me. He too may think that our relationship often feels like Groundhog Day, as He watches me commit the same sins and make the same mistakes over and over again. (One of those sins is not being as forgiving of others.) Thankfully, God does not tire of forgiving me. Thankfully, God does not tire of my impatience. Thankfully God, is much more patient than me.
And then I thought about the shadow that the groundhog sees. Sometimes we get stuck in our own shadow. Sometimes, we only see the dark side of what is going on. But there is no shadow too dark for God. And regardless of whether we see our shadow (just like regardless of whether the groundhog sees its shadow), Spring is coming, renewal is coming. Sometimes it just may take a little longer. In the meantime, we need to just keep praying, just keep praying.
Thank you for being there even when I am lost in the shadows. Thank you for your patience when I fail again and again. I know that you hear my prayers. I know that you will what is good for me. I know that your plans are better than mine. I have faith in you. I will keep rejoicing in you and praying in thanksgiving. Lord, I want to be a light, not a shadow on the world. I pray for renewal for me and those around me. We are ready for Spring. Shine your light upon us. Break through the cold hearts. Fill us with love. Build your kingdom here! Help us to just keep praying. I trust that you will answer in your time, in your way. Help me to listen and follow and never give up.