I think anticipation is a deep, natural, almost unconscious human trait the Heavenly Father designed in us. I mean, think about it: we anticipate almost everything… birthdays, vacations, the release of the next iPhone or season of our favorite show, getting to meet in groups of ten, fifteen, or 45. Anticipating a new job or a birthday can be fun and exciting. I hate to admit, but I anticipated Christmas morning well into my 20’s. I’m not proud of it, but there was something about it that would wake me up way too early.
And as we look forward in anticipation of gathering again for our weekend services, I think it’s important to remember what we, as followers of Jesus, are truly meant and designed to anticipate. And that’s Jesus. His return. And our eternal life with Him.
But here’s the thing: we can’t have anticipation without waiting.
Waiting is something we see throughout the Scriptures. We see faithful and devoted servants waiting and anticipating the fulfillment of God’s promises. Starting clear back in Genesis, Noah waits for a storm and flood. He works diligently to build an ark and to follow God’s commands. Then, the flood comes and there is more waiting–waiting for the rains to stop and the waters to abate. Waiting for the birds to come back to the ark with a sign of dry land.
Abraham and Sarah waited for God’s promise of a child. Moses waited in the desert for forty years before sending the Israelites into the promised land. Joshua waited for the walls of Jericho to fall. The Israelites waited generations for their Savior to come. The Apostles waited for the Holy Spirit.
You see, waiting is a fact of life. And in all we do, how we wait matters. A look back at our Scriptures shows us how to wait as well as for whom it is we are to wait upon.
“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” (Psalm 27:14)
“I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry.” (Psalm 40:1)
“For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.” (Psalm 62:5)
“But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)
“Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.” (James 5:7-8)
Like most all of you, I look forward to the time we can gather and worship our Heavenly Father together. But through this time, I don’t want to miss an opportunity to wait on the Lord. To listen to what He is teaching me and to connect with Him on a deeper level. I’m praying for you all and look forward to June 21st with much anticipation.