12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Ah, the joys of the Advent Season. For anyone whose work is connected to the retail world, the advent season brings its own version of peak season. Everyone is buying and selling and returning and wrapping and figuring out where they need to go next to buy the next gift for the next person… and those who are working in the businesses selling the items are working extra. For anyone who is working in an industry that is connected to and reliant on the retail industry, we, too, are experiencing a peak season. For a UPSer this looks like longer hours, doing more during those hours than is typically expected, and everyone’s stress being at such a ridiculously high level that the stress itself breeds more stress. For anyone who is connected to people who either work in retail, or work in an industry connected to retail, (I have now named everyone, I think), trying to get together with folks right now is incredibly difficult. Last night at small group I realized that the best thing that I could do after dinner for the sake of my relationship with God and my relationship with those in my small group was go take a nap. And the group that had planned on meeting for dinner and then going to watch the new Star Wars tomorrow night has mostly turned into us just gathering for the movie.
Many of us are currently living in a season of chronological-want. We my not be facing hunger or financial need, but we are seeing less and less of those we love, much less getting the chance to reach out to those around us who are in need of hearing once again about God’s incredible love that He expressed to us through the birth, life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus. I think that it is in seasons like this that we need to rely on verses like Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me,” all the more. This verse doesn’t mean that any one of us can go outside and lift up one of the cars parked on the street; but it does mean that we can do more than we think we can in seasons of want. The Apostle Paul says this preposterous idea (seriously, who can do all things?) right after claiming to know the secret of facing times when he didn’t have everything he wanted to have.
Perhaps I might not have all the time in the world, but what can I do, through the strength of Christ, with the precious few moments I have been given?