Friday March 5 – Day 17 – WAITING 2: BE OF GOOD COURAGE
Friday March 5 – Day 17 – WAITING 2: BE OF GOOD COURAGE
“Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!” – Psalm 27:14 (NKJV)
“I pray to God—my life a prayer—
and wait for what he’ll say and do.
My life’s on the line before God, my Lord,
waiting and watching till morning,
waiting and watching till morning.” – Psalm 130:5-6 (MSG)
Life in the 21st Century has blessed us with many advancements thanks to technology, but it has also been a curse and made certain life experiences obsolete. Some of you might be too young to remember this, but I remember the days that we would stay in line to buy concert tickets. The year was 1989 and it was announced that Paul McCartney was coming to Toronto for a concert. His last show here was in 1976 when I was 11 and unable to see the show. My parents would not allow me to go. I had also asked to see The Who in the same year in October and I was also denied. Sad because that was Keith Moon’s final paid show with the Who before he died. I love my parents but I have never fully forgiven them for saying no 🙂
In those days, the only way to get a ticket for an event was to either 1) go on the phone and dial, redial, redial, redial over and over again until you could get through right at 10:00 a.m. or 2) stand in line at a ticket booth/store that had a Ticketmaster outlet.
At the time I was finishing up my music studies at McMaster, was engaged to be married the following April and was teaching guitar part time in the back of a music store in Burlington. I had become friends with the receptionist as we were both huge Beatles’ fans and we were both loving Paul’s recent album, “Flowers in the Dirt”. I even performed at her wedding (and played “Put it There” for her Dad). Once we heard that Paul was coming to Toronto we decided we would stay up all night and camp out for tickets. She would bring her fiance/husband and I would bring Rose-Frances to the concert.
Now, some of you might find staying up all night an easy task. However I am a simple man who loves his basic comforts of life: food and sleep. I was very worried that I wasn’t going to be able to stay awake. Thankfully the weather was perfect and I remember actually enjoying my time with my friend and with other Beatle people in line. By the time the sun rose, we were ready and crossing our fingers that we would be able to get tickets. Just because we stood in line for the tickets didn’t automatically guarantee us tickets, it gave us the opportunity to possibly get tickets.
It was 10 a.m., and we were being let in to the Ticketmaster at the Burlington Mall. We were I believe second or third in line, and we were able to secure seats halfway from the front on the floor of the Skydome. I had hoped for better but was happy that I was finally going to see Paul for the first time. It seems that the courage I struck up from within myself to stay awake paid off. The concert remains one of my favourite shows of all time.
Four words that I think we need to spread more during the pandemic are as follows:
BE OF GOOD COURAGE.
The more I think about it, it is a great salutation.
“Be of Good Courage, my friend, as you cope with the lockdown”
As we pray to God that He would deliver us from COVID-19, the one thing I believe we need to pray for is courage.
Courage is the product of a determined mind and heart that will do everything it takes to make something happen. Usually, courage is manifested in a moment when all odds seem to be against you.
When we wait and watch for God during those dark nights of the soul, as we pray for courage, the God of the Starfields journeys with us. The Spirit gives us confidence and hope.
One of the most courageous acts I have ever witnessed happened at the birth of my daughter. She was in breech position (our Doctor had told us she was in the right positioning at our last appointment, so this was a shock to us). My wife, determined and full of courage, soldiered on and gave birth “naturally” as opposed to having a c-section (ok am I right in saying there is nothing natural about childbirth? lol).
The look on her face I will never forget. She was so focused and working so hard to make sure our Emma made it to earth safely. She is the strongest, bravest person I have ever met and in that moment, was so proud of her. Thankfully we didn’t have to wait and watch until dawn when Emma was born. She was born at 10:50 p.m. after a long long day of watching and waiting.
Has the pandemic allowed you the time to watch and wait on the Lord? Has your heart been strengthened or do you feel weaker? Lent is all about the waiting and the watching, hoping that God would meet with us in our moments of sadness and weakness.
Lent is about hoping in the truth that God never leaves us or forsakes us.
Lent is about waiting on a response from God, trusting that He will strengthen our hearts.
If you are at the end of your rope, I invite you to pray right now that God will give you the courage to get through all of the life challenges you are facing right now. These challenges will not last forever, but God’s promise to be with you always will never change.
As our lives are on the line before God, let us watch and wait until dawn, knowing that joy does come in the morning.
Church, be of good courage and don’t lose hope.
He loves you. Rejoice and give thanks!
May He strengthen your heart and mind during this season of Lent, and may you sense His presence in your lives today. Have a wonderful weekend!