Earp Takes Aim | Faith, Culture, Life

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On Hold

As I prayed about and searched for the hopeful message God might want me to remind you about this holiday season, my mind kept drifting back to the phrase of an old R&B song, first recorded by Sam and Dave WAY back in the mid-1960s.  Remember this tune?  

Don't you ever, feel sad,

Lean on Me, when times are bad;

When the day comes, and you’re in doubt,

In a river of trouble, and about to drown.

Hold on, cuz I’m coming

Hold on, I’m coming! 

Now for those who might question my piety for having such a depraved brain that it would even think about using a secular song to drive home a spiritual truth…?  Lemme show you something:

“Hold on, cuz I’m coming” is actually a cover for one of the last things Jesus said in one of the last chapters of the last book in the Bible.  See it?

“I am coming soon.  [So] Hold on…”[1]

If there ever was a time when the majority of the people I love could really use a message like that message— it’s this time.  Cuz after four years of economic recession and financial hardship, and after losing our homes and our jobs, and after living daily with constant fear and a foreboding dread for what tomorrow might also bring— HOLDIN’ ON kinda feels like what we’ve already been doing, doesn’t it?

So if this season’s message is just that we gotta do more HOLDIN’ ON— save it, Wyatt!   Cuz if that’s all you’ve got to say?  I got something to say to you:  HOLD ON is starting to feel like I’m all I really am is ON HOLD!

I mean, I’m not some Lucy-type.  I can deal with one dumpy-looking Charlie Brown tree.  But four of ‘em?  Dude, I’m about to run outta green!  And the needles are fallin’ off faster than I can glue ‘em back on!  I’m tired of being ‘on hold!’  Livin’ ‘on hold’ is kinda like suspended animation:  Time solidifies and hangs like a dead weight around my shoulders.

And I’m not talking about waiting for the microwave to cook my dinner or the printer to spit out my fax or my computer to re-boot— I’m talking about a far more acute kinda waiting.

The kinda waiting Noah had to do even though God had promised that rain was, in fact, coming.  Noah built a boat, just like God said…yet both he and the boat sat in dry-dock, ON HOLD, until God finally said, “Rain is on its way.”

Or the kinda waiting Job had to do— as he endured unimaginable physical pain and an emotional suffering that kept him ON HOLD for what must’ve seemed like an eternity.

Or Joseph, who lived ON HOLD for nearly two decades— in prison for a crime he didn’t even do!

And then there’s Moses, who at age 40 had a brighter future than anyone in all of Egypt.  Yet suddenly ON HOLD…for 40 more years, as he waited for God to come, just as God had promised He would come.

Is that where you are right now? You have a need— a legitimate need, an understandable request, an obvious heartache— yet, you wait.  With no end in sight and left to feel as though your entire life is stuck ON HOLD.  And after too many years of dumb Charlie Brown trees, some of you are starting to get angry at God.  Or at least frustrated, cuz, “Why is taking His good, sweet time?  ‘God, I’m in a hurry; why aren’t YOU in a hurry?’”

Have you ever thought about that?  God is NEVER in a hurry.  Never!  And I used to think that we could never know WHY He’s never in hurry.  But now, I think I DO know why:  It’s because “Hold on, cuz I’m coming” isn’t just one of the last things He told us in one of the last chapters of the last book in the Bible.  It’s also one of the first things He said in one of the first chapters of the first book in the Bible.

Which means— “HOLD ON!  Cuz I’m coming!”— is God’s consistent message of both hope AND promise to the people He loves most— people like you…and like me.

“Hold on” is God’s hopeful word.  Cuz if He tells us to, that must we can…hold on.

And “I’m coming” is His word of promise.  And as the Bible says, “The Lord will do what He has promised.”[2] Because “He is faithful in all He does.”[3]


[1] Revelation 3:11a

[2] Isaiah 38:7

[3] Psalm 33:4

This is an exerpt from Hold On: Against All Hope. 

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