binoculars boyYou and I sometimes find ourselves looking for better times. We do wander in our wish-things-were-better thoughts, even if we are hesitant to admit it to ourselves or others.

Just look at this day for a moment. Did you fill up your gas tank and nearly faint at the price? At any point today did you feel a twinge or a huge twank of pain somewhere in your body? Did clouds and overcast skies mess up your outdoor plans?

If we’re honest with ourselves, some days it doesn’t take much to nudge us toward wishing life were different or better. Or blissful even.

You and I face times in life when we are not where we thought we’d be and not where we want to be with our goals, our aspirations, our plans. I’m there right now, transitioning from my February thumb surgery to full hand function again. The progress is much s-l-o-w-e-r than the surgeon promised. Pain, stiffness and swelling bog me down every day. There’s both an awkward tension and a gleeful hope that I’ll be able to open door handles again and be back on my bike. Yes, I am looking for better times.

Wishing Things Were Better

Maybe you’re plodding through your own wishing-things-were-better right now. Your children or grandchildren are graduating to the next level of school or birthing a career but are struggling with the challenges to land well. You want to help but not hover. It’s natural to long for better times for them.

Perhaps your present job is beyond draining or the company is taking another direction and you are left behind. You want a better work fit . . . you want the familiarity of your coworkers and paycheck. You feel pressured to earn an income but are worn out at the thought of finding a new job or making this one less stressful. You welcome better times.

Maybe the medication and treatment are winding down, but you are still not back to your normal energy and activities. You want to be well . . .  you want your “other” body back. Bring on the better times.

Daring to Hope

I’m with you on this mysterious path of both daring to inch forward while choosing to expect and look for better times ahead. Somehow through my myriad seasons of hard knocks, I am learning to choose to soak up the unexpected blessings in THIS DAY. I am bit by bit negotiating how to embrace the in between of where I am currently and where I want to be. This is bending at its finest. We may find tears and sadness as companions on our looking-for better-times journey, but these travel mates do not need to hold us back.

We can dare to let ourselves hope for the ultimate good and more promising memories ahead. While we wait, we can relax in THIS DAY, holding steady for positive change, a new season, a fresh start. Most likely, our better times will not arrive like a soaring tsunami but more like a gentle ocean breeze, surprising us with a gradual upsurge in our circumstances.

Years ago, someone pointed me to these encouraging words from Isaiah 43:19 (New Living Translation). “For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.”

You may feel you are in a wilderness or dry wasteland these days. I know that experience. I also know that through your resolve and patience, your flexing and bending, that “something new” will break through the parched times.

Are you growing weary of waiting and looking for better times ahead? Are you starting to see a glimpse of a pathway in your wilderness? Be still, keep looking. Is that the beginning of a stream in your dried-up wasteland? Squint. Squint. 

I’m right with you, eager for our better times and something new to be fully here. So, let’s keep peeking ahead. Squint. Squint. “For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun!”