Have you ever believed you were at the right place at the right time?
If so, that question might bring a happy, if not victorious, memory to mind.
Maybe the answer to that question rests in a place of hope and anticipation in the dog-eared pages of your heart.
Have you been holding out for the alignment of all the stars, so to speak, thinking only then will you know you are at the right place at the right time for something you have deeply hoped for?
Something you may have feared might never come true?
Perhaps this next question, albeit more dismal, is more in line with your experience; when have you sensed you were in the wrong place at the wrong time?
In the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 2:9-10 (The Message) we can read for ourselves the Christmas story unfolding under some challenging and hostile conditions.
“Instructed by the king, they (the wise men) set off. Then the star appeared again, the same star they had seen in the eastern skies. It led them on until it hovered over the place of the child. They could hardly contain themselves; they were in the right place. They had arrived at the right time.”
Being at the right place at the right time never seems to get old.
Maybe this is because it doesn’t happen nearly enough – in contrast to the times we seem to find ourselves at the wrong place at the wrong time.
That hover word shows up in scripture in the very first verse offered to humanity.
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” (Genesis 1:1-2).
Generally we don’t just happen to show up at the right place at the right time.
Typically some strategy takes place beforehand.
I do believe God is the ultimate strategist on behalf of all of us.
As we set our hearts and minds to participate in his creation process in our lives – our marriages, relationships with family and friends, our life goals, and so on – we get to be part of his process of creating the life he intends for us.
If we are sensing formlessness, emptiness and even darkness in the deep places of our innermost being, we can be reminded in scripture that the creator of the universe is still about the business of creating sustainable life in each of us.
When the Holy Spirit hovers, hope becomes reality revealed.
What happened at creation and thousands of years later when the wise men arrived to see the Christ child with their own eyes, can still happen today.
That sense of being in the right place at the right time need not escape us.
May we step into it wholeheartedly for ourselves and those we do life with right now.
Consider what creation from chaos, or hope-becoming-reality, God wants to reveal in your own life right now.
Do you need a chaplain or other encourager to be alongside you in this season of your life? Chaplains are always here for you.
May we all be encouraged by what God has already provided for each of us this Christmas season – and may we also make room for the miracles he has yet to unveil.
As we give thanks for God’s hovering presence, may we be an encouragement to others around us to do likewise – as we look expectantly with hope and faith in our hearts, to a God who was, and is, and will continue to be, about the business of revealing a reality we may have only hoped for.
By AIR FORCE CHAPLAIN (MAJ.) LISA NORTHWAY
Family Life Chaplain