These two concepts I have struggled for so long to grasp the balance between. Like a mad chemist, daily I am found in the lab of life trying to figure just how great of an amount I can pour into the flask of anticipation without neglecting to pour an equal or greater value into the flask of waiting. Neither attitude is of un-Biblical principal as God calls us to both wait on Him and anticipate Him. But just as so many Biblical concepts feel like an oxymoronical (yes, a newly Sarah Dictionary featured word) confliction, I find myself confused when to anticipate and when to wait. Other examples of these oxymoronical conflictions include the fact God is a God of wrath and of love, powerful and gentle, Sovereign and personable…all these unusual, incomprehensible concepts for the simplistic human mind (in comparison to the mind of that of the God of the Universe) contribute to the mystery of our Creator.
Daily I find myself anticipating the next great thing…for example, residing currently at 9 out of 10 on the scale of “Burned Out First Year Teacher”, my skin tingles at the thought of the approaching sun-kissed bliss of summertime and the opportunity to not punch the alarm at 6am Monday through Friday. I find myself daydreaming of hammocks, barefoot, suntan, birds chirping, bees buzzing, flowers in full bloom, lawn mowers humming, passion tea lemonade quenching thirst, 2am late night chats with friends, waves crashing, sand squishing between toes, rejuvenation, refreshment.
As a young fiery 20 + x year old (yes, I have reached the point where I do not willingly provide my actual age ;-)) I am rapidly filling my closet with bridesmaid dresses, approaching the 27 dress mark that seems so absurd to many, but all-to-probable for myself. And with every walking of the aisle by one of my dear friends or family members, as I am excited for my dear acquaintance I also find myself anticipating the walk of commitment I will someday take for myself, Lord willing. And while watching my favorite reaction of all—the image of the groom’s face illuminating in a genuine smile of love from the overflow of his heart, transforming him at the sight of his radiant bride stepping toward him—I also hope and anticipate a similar reaction from that poor sucker who stands at the other end of my aisle someday.
Last summer nannying for a beautiful little bundle of joy with brown locks and a loveable personality, I experienced the anticipation of…being an Aunt (you thought I was going to say Mom, didn’t you? ;-)). The little booties, donning her in cute little outfits and bows, passing on my advice to her (if any one phrase sticks with her due to repetition it will be my daily reminder that “Boys are bad news”) I got giddy with the thought of my sisters (hopefully :)) giving birth to little tykes. I eagerly wait when I can take pride as the Aunt who spoils the adorable chitlins and then sends them home for the parents to do the not always pleasant duties of…discipline and responsibility. :)
But with all of the thoughts of anticipation, ceaselessly circulating my mind at the speed of a car spreading its wings on the Autobahn, I am reminded sometimes hourly by the wisdom to wait on God. God’s timing is perfection, and patience in waiting produces perseverance and character. It’s the times I have waited on God that I have been challenged the most and rewarded the most by His blessings. But then why is it sometimes so fogged by the excitement of anticipation?
So here again I return to the equation….Anticipation + Waiting. How does it balance? How can two seemingly opposite concepts mingle together to form one balanced, life solution? But then I realized I was missing the significant flask of potion that I needed to pour into this equation to formulate something beautiful…and that is the flask of God’s faithfulness. Anticipation + God’s faithfulness + Waiting = Life…and that, my friends, is something beautiful. God wants us to anticipate in joy and contentment, wait in joy and contentment, and realize that while we act in both thought processes, the key chemical is that He is faithful through it all. He takes our ashes and throws them on the Bunsen burner of life to create something unique and lovely for each of His created children. He wants me to anticipate, He wants me to wait…but in order to perform simultaneously these two oxymoron-like patterns of thought, He wants me to abide in His faithfulness. I anticipate, I wait, and I surrender. “I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.’” ~ Lamentations 3:24 NIV