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“I eagerly expect and hope…” Philippians 1:20
As a little girl I revered the lake and eagerly anticipated the onset of warm weather. My parents maintained a strict schedule, however. We installed the pier on Memorial Day weekend and took it out on Labor Day weekend. Knee-deep wading was permitted in May and September, but no swimming before June 1st or after August 31st.
Since then, the rules have stretched and expanded; the summer season extends by at least six weeks on either side of the old parameters! Now the pier is in place in mid-April, and my adult children resume water-skiing behind the boat in wet-suits shortly thereafter.
I think of April as my launch month – the month that rekindles hope and vision. Family members convene during this time for a work weekend; my digital camera clicks away like crazy. Two people wear waders and stand in the still-freezing water while several others lift and carry heavy wooden pier sections. It takes a team of five to hoist the mast on the sailboat, and at least several strong men to pull the three boat hoists into place. The old charcoal grill comes out of hiding to cook the first burgers of the year. Grandchildren play in the yard, vicariously learning their family identity. There is a great sense of excitement and anticipation. Why? Because we’re “lakies.”
I’ve accumulated “pier memories” for nearly six decades. I still love to breathe in the sweet, clean air as waves splash energetically against the seawall. My expectations soar, capturing the promise of ongoing family unity at the lake. It has been this way for...as long as I can remember.
This year, I am also reminded that the Lord is the ultimate promise keeper. He defines my heart and soul, enables and equips me, and assigns me meaningful work. As the years progress I become only more and more eager for each new season of life as He leads me on the narrow road of faith.
There have been times when we were tempted to hire professionals to take care of the pier work; when we battled health concerns or busyness or bad weather. (This hasn’t happened – yet.) But whatever the circumstances, the Lord calls us each year to return to the endearing family reality: we are “lakies,” and we will always be “lakies.”
Even more decidedly, I am a Christian; I will always belong to the Lord. Although temptations and storms sometimes challenge me, I am born of His Spirit and led by Him. What is His promise as I learn what it means to trust His leadership? Freedom!
Every April I remember that my life is defined by hope. Hope that He knows my name, that He calls me uniquely, and that my goal in this life can be explained by one simple word: expectancy.
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