- Pastor Ralph
When I was growing up we a large dachshund named Red. He was the biggest wiener dog I have ever seen. He was huge. Red loved people and he loved to sit, about noon time, on a little orange leatherette stool my mother placed below the dining room window and wait for my dad to come home. All we had to do is mention dad was coming and he sat patiently and expectantly for him to arrive. When he saw dad turn in the driveway, Red would rush to the back door. Dad would let him in the backseat of the station wagon and off the two would go for a drive. They would travel around the neighbourhood for five minutes, return home and everyone was happy. Amongst all the little humorous things Red did, it was the “anticipation”, the excitement he had waiting for dad to come home that I remember most. It was something to see. My dad was a tough man. His nickname was “nail” because he was as”tough as nails”. When Red passed away, it was only the second time I ever remember seeing my dad cry!
That “anticipation” that we witnessed so often in Red is something that needs to shine in our lives as Christians. I would define “anticipation” as a “joyous expectation.” We need to look forward daily, to so many things, because of the “hope’ we have in Jesus Christ.
The chance to worship. We will gather this Sunday over the internet and worship as his people. We cannot be physically present with each other but God is present with us and we can be united and present with one another in spirit. We can, with joy, anticipate that He will speak. His promise is that “His word will not return void.”(Isaiah 55:11 KJV) As his people, we anticipate a special time as we gather around His table. He loves us and loves to be with us. Like Red was assured of my dad’s presence, so we can be assured in greater ways of God’s presence with us Sunday.
The chance to celebrate each day. We know the Lord’s presence (Hebrews 13:5b) will always be with us. We have to be careful that we don’t let circumstances or feeling steer us off course. Look for God and anticipate with joy His presence as you meet with Him around His word and in prayer. Anticipate His presence in phone calls or emails and texts as you share His love with family and friends. Anticipate his wisdom as it grows progressively in you. In those tough times and moments, remember His identification with you and your suffering. We have a “merciful and gracious high priest.” (Hebrews 6:14-16 NIV) who is just waiting to hear from you!
The chance to anticipate the promises of God being fulfilled in you. With proper interpretation and application of Biblical texts, we can take joy that our God is a God of His word and that all things will come to completion. His timing is perfect – sometimes we just have to hold on. As the old chorus goes, “In His time, in His time, He makes all things beautiful in His time.”
I believe our pets teach us many lessons. I have never forgotten the lessons Red taught me, especially about “anticipation.” May we live in “anticipation” in “joyful expectancy" even in these challenging times because we live as those who have lasting and ultimate “hope.”
“My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.” Psalm 62:6 (KJV)
God bless – keep safe – looking forward in “anticipation” to Sunday – Pastor Ralph