October 6, 2021 — In a Holding Pattern?

“The other day,” Stan commented, “I went to the airport to pick up a friend who was flying in to spend a few days with us.”

“Good friend?” I asked.

“Yeah,” Stan replied, “we’ve been friends for a long time. We both became Christians at about the same point and have been able to help each other in our growing faith walks.”

“That’ great,” I responded. “Did he get here okay?”

“He did,” Stan said, “but the plane was almost an hour late in landing.”

“Was it late in taking off?” I asked.

“No,” he replied. “My friend said it actually took off a few minutes before the scheduled departure time.”

“Why was it late?”

“It seems it was in a holding pattern waiting for something, but my friend was not sure what that was. But he did say that he got to see a lot of Weston Mountain as the plane kept circling in the holding pattern!”

“On the way home from the airport,” Stan continued, “we were talking about the spiritual significance of what happened.”

“Spiritual significance?” I replied. “In what way?”

“Being in a holding pattern rather than taking hold of what God has for us,” Stan said. “Just circling what God has for us to do and to be rather than getting involved in the doing and being.”

Continuing, he added, “The apostle Paul focused on this in his letter to the church in Philippi, one of the letters that has also been made available to me and to all of us.”

“He wrote about being in a holding pattern?” I asked.

“He did,” Stan replied. “He didn’t specifically mention a ‘holding pattern,’ but I think that’s what he was referring to when he wrote to ‘take hold’ of what God has for us. Take hold, not just be waiting to take hold.”

“Kind of like going ahead and taking the steps to be a disciple,” I said, “not just hanging around waiting for something to happen.”

“You got it, my friend,” Stan replied “only I think it’s more than ‘kind of like’!”

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Bible verses to consider:

. . . I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12.

Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so they may take hold of that which is life indeed. 1 Timothy 6:18-19.

Prayer: Thank you, Father, for your free and gracious provision of all that you have for me to claim or lay hold of: life eternally with you when it’s time, along with the eternal life of knowing you and Jesus on this side of eternity. I confess that too often I do not lay hold of all you have for me to be and to do for you and your kingdom. Rather than laying hold of what you have, I stay in a “holding pattern” away from you. Please forgive that foolishness. Please help me in following every step of your lead so I do, in fact, lay hold of all you have for me. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Think on this: Have you “laid hold” of God’s provision of life eternally with Him when your time here is completed? If no, why? Do you not know it’s available as God’s free and gracious gift? If you do have the assurance of salvation, how are you doing with laying hold of all that God has for you to be and to do as a disciple on this side of eternity? As well as you would like? As well as God would like? If you sense the need for some changes in how you lay hold of what God has for you, how are those changes going to occur? Is that what you want? Why or why not?

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