“Wait till 5:00 for dinner.” I hated that command as a kid when waiting meant I couldn’t eat now. It seemed like the magical hour would never come and I’d starve to death waiting for the clock in the living room to chime it’s freeing chime. My thought was always the same:
How am I supposed to wait that long?!
Somehow, though, I survived. Ironically enough, by 5:10, I had already forgotten my mother’s perceived cruelty for making me wait. I was fed. I was happy. My stomach pains which I felt resembled starvation were already forgotten.
I thought I knew what I wanted… I thought if I could get the sugary or salty snack right when I first desired it, I’d be satisfied. My mother knew better, though. She made me wait because, if I did wait, I’d be satisfied with something better for me. Not only that, it was quite possible I’d like it more, if only I could wait!
I should have learned then what I’m still learning now — anticipation for a promise fulfilled is not cruelty. Our world often tells us differently. In a world where robbery is okay as long as you don’t get caught and Netflix is best because there are no commercials, waiting and anticipation are rarely experienced.
I often anticipate promises I know God has spoken over me, yet I’m very firmly told to wait in fulfilling them. Often times, I can almost hear my heart mumble, “Fine. I’ll wait. But not joyfully. Definitely not peacefully, either.” When I catch myself grasping that attitude with an iron fist, I can almost guarantee you I miss out on the little blessings God hands me simply out of love, not necessarily out of promise.
What would happen to our hearts as Christians if we didn’t merely settle with being content in life only when a promise was fulfilled? What if we took God up on His promise to provide for us and then kept our eyes open, rather than ignore His will for us until it fit into our plans?
What if we reveled in anticipation and longing because it makes us relish Jesus’ presence more?