Holy Anticipation

I couldn't wait for the second season of Downton Abbey to come on this past January and now I'm waiting with anticipation for the third season.

I'm looking forward to my family coming out for my daughter's upcoming high school graduation. I think about what we'll do, what we'll eat and how I'll prepare for their arrival every day.

Right now I'm on pins and needles to see if my son wins a computer programming contest he's entered with ESPN. He finds out around May 16th.

And I'm even looking forward to this weekend when my daughter will get all dolled up for her senior prom. My day will revolve around the festivities and I couldn't be happier about that.

Do you have anything you're looking forward to? Ah, the essence of sweet anticipation! I read just the other day in a magazine that anticipation is actually the first part of four distinct segments of enjoying any event or activity. In other words, the degree to which you anticipate (dream about, plan for, look forward to, and weight out) an event on the horizon affects the enjoyment of the moment when the event actually arrives.

I have no enticing segue...just turn the corner with me, if you will.

This morning I read in Psalm 130:5-6:

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
And in His word I do hope.
My soul waits for the Lord
More than those who watch for the morning--
Yes, more than those who watch for the morning.

But instead of these words resonating with me, they convicted me. 

Do I wait for the Lord with such anticipation? Sure, when I'm looking at my watch and tapping my foot in frustration while I wait on His reply to my desperate prayer I may wait with such expectation. But do I look forward to hearing from Him each morning, each day with such eagerness?

This past Saturday, I was struck with a deep desire to hear me "a word from the Lord." I don't know what got into me, but I purposefully got the various clicker flickers needed to operate our television and TiVo, sat down in front of the set, and found me some good preaching on Sunday's lineup to record. I TiVoed Charles Stanley, David Jeremiah, and Tony Evans. And I waited with anticipation to hear from God. My soul waited. And I put my hope in His word.

Then life happened.

Four days later I finally sat down to hear one of my favorite preachers. I still have yet to tune into the other two.

What happened to my anticipation? What happened to waiting and watching for God like the night watchman who is eager for the sun to rise?

Life happened. I got consumed with other things. I became distracted by the mundane, the trivial, the me. I got self-absorbed.

So today, besides making time to sit down and watch my TiVoed messages from the Word of God, I'm also praying for a greater thirst for my God and His word. Here's the thing: when I took the time to listen last night, it was good and satisfying. And when I stopped doing all my "me" things this morning long enough to read from His daily bread, it tasted good and settled down deep in my soul. And when I took the time to meditate on His Word this morning, chewing it up and swallowing it, I was nourished.

God satisfies me like nothing else. His Word quenches my thirst and nourishes my soul better than anything else. But I've got to stop filling up on the candy of this world in order to develop a stronger craving for Him. What candy? Oh, it could be anything that temporarily satisfies my longings so that I have no room for that which is really good for me and tasty to boot.

For me, that candy often consists of reading materials, television, or even just that, candy.

Won't you join with me in an effort to build our anticipation for God? Let's push aside the world's offerings long enough to develop a hunger for Him, and then let's give Him the opportunity to satisfy us. That means we'll have to sit down, literally, physically. We'll have to pick up our Bibles, turn off the noise, resist the ring of the telephone or the call of the mundane, guard that time like the precious commodity it is, and wait for Him there. 

Wait like one who anticipates the rising of the sun. There's joy in the anticipation, you know.