Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Anticipation

Anticipation had been building for months, and yesterday it was finally time.

I first found out about it just after arriving at our cabin in Big Bear last summer. My three grandsons immediately went outside to check out the hot tub, and after I’d put the groceries away I joined them.

I was laughing at eighteen-month-old Asher’s antics, when I noticed the writing on his t-shirt: “Big brother”. Immediately my eyes shot to my son and daughter-in-law.

“Really?” The word squeaked out. And with hugs and laughter they assured me it was true. Their fourth child was on the way!

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I’ve been looking forward to this baby’s arrival ever since. Once the sonogram showed that their fourth baby was also heir fourth boy he became Noah. They chose the name because it means “quiet, restful.” Stew and Annie are hoping he lives up to it.

For the last several months I have wondered what he will look like, if he has dark or light hair, and what his personality will be like. I have prayed for his growth in utero, his safe delivery, and that he would arrive without any complications. I have yearned for him to know and love Jesus at a very young age. I couldn’t wait to see his little face! There is something so deeply satisfying about holding a brand new life….

But after all that anticipation, it didn’t happen as planned.

I was helping Annie’s Aunt Bonnie with the three older brothers when Noah arrived safely by planned C-section at 10:45 a.m. We laughed together even as that joy expressed itself in a few tears. But then the word came; Noah was in the NICU with fluid on his lungs. While that is not uncommon for C-section babies it is certainly not what you hope for. The same thing had happened to Ryder, one of Noah’s brothers, and he spent time in that same NICU. Noah should be fine in a few days, but I won’t get to see him until then.

baby Noah

There is something else I’m looking forward to with far greater anticipation than Noah’s birth: Jesus’ return.

Already knowing Him only increases the expectancy. I can be fully confident that His faithfulness and His love for us is what ensure He will keep His promise to return. And while I don’t know when to expect it, this I am assured of; I will see Him face-to-face (1 Corinthians 13:12), and it will forever change me (1 John 3:2).

Never again will I be separated from Him, and it will far exceed all my anticipation, every hope and every longing that my soul has yearned for.

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.                                                                                                             John 14:1-3

For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.                                            1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

Further reflection:

1. Describe a time when you were eagerly anticipating something.

2. What do you think it will like when you see Jesus face-to-face?

Father, thank You that You have given us so much to enjoy here in this life. Every good thing comes from Your hand. But there is nothing—nothing!—worth looking forward to more than the return of Your Son. Come quickly!

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