I am sitting here, just after getting home from work, two days away from getting to finally meet our new granddaughter, Haley Marie. She is due to come into this world sometime after lunch on Wednesday of this week. I can hardly wait… and I am only the grandfather. The anticipation has been building ever since the day our little three-year-old Cole announced to the family she was coming.
The closet is already stuffed with little girl dresses and getups. Every time we went out it seems like we came back with something cute for her to wear. All kinds of preparations have been made and some are still lacking. We rushed to finish Kevin and Amy’s new house, lacking only a few minor things to do. The anticipation is killing us. I can’t speak for Grandmama or for Kevin and Amy, but as for me, I’m ready. I can’t wait. I find myself thinking about her all through the day, every day. Just the thought of holding her and loving on her brings a smile to my face.
There are a lot of things in life we enjoy anticipating. I like going on trips, but the closer I get, the slower the travel seems. The anticipation of arriving and enjoying all that is before me sometimes gets the best of me. For hundreds of miles I have sat behind the wheel and dreamed of what it would be and what we would do. It is as if you can see it all happening before you ever leave home.
With Haley, I’ve seen her little picture from the Ultra Sound on my computer screen every day. I touch it and speak to her. And, by the time she arrives Wednesday, I will feel as if I know her already. The anticipation is killing me.
Do you know that God has given us more than anything this life could give us to anticipate? To many, because of some basic fears in people over the centuries, meeting with the Lord and going on to our final place of abode is a bit spooky. In the early church it did not seem that way. It appears, as you study Scripture, that people had a healthy anticipation of meeting the Lord face to face. There did not seem to be a fear associated with dying and moving on to the next dimension. As a matter of fact, the plea of the brothers and sisters of earlier times was “O Lord, Come!” Not only were they ready, but they actually seemed to be asking for it.
God had made us some steadfast promises and given us just enough information to get us excited about the journey. He gave us His Holy Spirit to live inside of us as a promise of those things He would fulfill. He promised with an oath on His own name, because there was nothing greater on which He could base His promise. My head reels and rocks as it staggers to understand and comprehend all that is in store for me, for us, when He takes us home to be with Him. Life with Him here and now is great, but in that realm it will be beyond the description of words. The anticipation is killing me.
In Second Corinthians, Paul was caught up into the third heaven and witnessed what we will one day behold. What he saw and heard was indescribable. As a matter of fact, he was forbidden to even speak of it because there was no way he could communicate the wonders of it all. He was then given a thorn in the flesh to constantly remind him to keep his mouth shut about it. What splendor it must be there! What glory and purity and holiness he must have witnessed! What could God have in store for us that would be so grand that the mind of man could not even begin to comprehend it?
Because of the promise of the resurrection, the fear of death has been defeated and taken away. Death no longer has its sting in my life. I feel totally willing to go when He calls me. I anticipate the death experience to be something of joy, not sadness. Death always leaves a wake of sadness behind it, but what is out in front of it? Joy! Glory! The very presence of the Lord! The anticipation is killing me! I want to go. Do you?
I am dreading sitting at the hospital Wednesday. Not because I think I can’t sit a little while and live. I dread it because of the anticipation of meeting this new little creature with whom God is about to bless all of our lives. I can’t rest at night just thinking about her. Awe… the anticipation.
Wednesday will come and go and Haley will become a fact of everyday life. I will hold her (when I get a turn) and love on her and kiss her. I will watch her grow up and will love every moment of it. Whatever she and Cole do with their lives, I will live in anticipation with them and for them. But, there is a higher anticipation. I refuse to let my eyes drift downward for too long at a time. I must keep a view toward heaven because what is in store for me, and all who follow Jesus, is greater than any anticipation this earth can boast. God is calling us upward and we are constantly called to keep our eyes on Him. There is much in store. And to tell you the truth, I think that God gives us these other anticipations that are so wonderful in our lives just to help us practice for the big one that is still ahead.
Look up! He is waiting for us.