One day as I was talking to my granddaughter, Cara, and her husband, Michael, I had to laugh as Michael told me about a conversation he and Cara had with a friend. Michael and Cara had been married all of six months when this conversation transpired.
The friend’s girlfriend had gone on a cruise with her parents, and he was telling Cara and Michael how much he missed her and how he longed to be married. Michael told him that he and his girlfriend probably see each other more than Michael and Cara do because now that they are married, all they do is work, work, work. Michael told his friend, “When you get into the real world, you’ll know what I mean.”
Working in First Place, I used to always be in a state of anticipation. I was anticipating the time when things would settle down after an event or an especially busy time. This anticipation kept me from enjoying the moment at hand because I was always looking ahead to another time. After a number of years of doing this, I realized that this kind of thinking was futile and unfruitful.
Let's look at the word anticipation and think about some of life’s events that we have eagerly anticipated, only to find out later that the “real world” overshadows all our anticipations. So many women have told me that they believed after they lost all their weight, they wouldn’t have a problem in the world. But they were disappointed to find that reaching their weight goal wasn’t the panacea for all of life’s problems after all.
You see, God is interested in the total person and because of this, we will never reach a point in our lives where everything is perfect. We may reach our weight goal but God is still interested in our emotional, spiritual and mental health. The older I get, the more I have discovered that anticipation of things or events in the future is usually better than the actual thing or event.
One of our First Place memory verses speaks to this quite well. It says, “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” Colossians 3:1-2. True contentment is when what I anticipate most is how God wants to work in and through me. We might be disillusioned when things turn out differently than we thought they would, but we will never be disappointed with anything God wants to accomplish in our life.
Another of our FP4H verses, Titus 2:13-14, says it all regarding our anticipation, “While we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.”
I am learning that anticipating what Christ will do today, what He will do tomorrow and what He will do every day in my life until He comes to take me home, brings joy unspeakable and never disappoints.
~ Carole Lewis