Daily Reflection — How Long, O Lord?


“How long, Lord? Will you hide forever? Must your wrath smolder like fire? Remember how brief life is, how frail the sons of man you have created!” (Psalm 89:47-48).

Yesterday was a day spent waiting… waiting for test results, waiting for my wife’s appointment with a surgeon.

My wife has been in a mode of waiting since late last month when a mass was discovered on her left kidney. Each new diagnostic has pointed to a localized cancer that will be removed surgically with an excellent prognosis. But, the waiting continues… waiting for the date to be set for the surgery… waiting for the pre-surgery consult… waiting for the insurance pre-approval… How easy it is to scream out, “How Long!”

Waiting can really be difficult and frustrating, especially when what we are waiting for is something very good—in my wife’s case, the removal of a cancerous tumor. But waiting in these instances is also beneficial in that our focus is redirected to what is truly important. We can turn our minds from the myriad distractions that lead us away from being the person God created us to be. We can turn our minds and our hearts to God.

Each year at Advent, we are reminded that we await the coming of a supreme Good—Our Lord, Jesus Christ… who has already come in history and now comes more fully into our hearts if we let Him. And we also wait for that day when He comes again… at the end of time and also at our own end of this earthly life. Only God is truly Good—the source of all that is good in the world—and it is His coming for us that we await. We may indeed shout out, “How long, Lord?” This season of Advent helps us to refocus on this truth and to appreciate it… to embrace it… to live it in joyful anticipation. For the Lord will come for us and we pray that when He does, we will be found ready.

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About the Author

Deacon Mike Bickerstaff Editor-In-Chief, ICL

Deacon Michael Bickerstaff is the Editor in chief and co-founder of the The Integrated Catholic Life.™ A Catholic Deacon of the Roman Rite for the Archdiocese of Atlanta, Deacon Bickerstaff is assigned to St. Peter Chanel Catholic Church where he is the Director of Adult Education and Evangelization.

He is also the Founder and President of Virtue@Work, where he provides Executive and Personal Coaching, Mentoring and Organizational Consulting. Deacon Mike has 30+ years management consulting experience in senior executive leadership positions providing organizational planning and implementation services with a focus on human resource strategy and tax qualified retirement plan design, administration and compliance.

He is a co-founder of the successful annual Atlanta Catholic Business Conference; the Chaplain of the Atlanta Chapter of the Woodstock Theological Center’s Business Conference; and Chaplain of the St. Peter Chanel Faith at Work Business Association and co-founder and Chaplain of the Marriages Are Covenants Ministry, both of which serve as models for similar parish-based ministries.

He and his wife have two married children and three grandchildren.

NB: The views I express on this site are my own. I am not an official spokesman for either my parish or diocese.

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