Blessed to be Broken

God's not finished with me yet!

Anticipation

on April 7, 2022

If you’re even a smidge like me you read the title of today’s story and you thought of the Heinz ketchup commercial with Carly Simon singing, anticipation. Welcome to my brain.

I think it’s safe to say we all need something to look forward to. Some may call it hope, or expectancy when we’re looking forward to something.

The opposite of looking forward to something is commonly known as dread. Especially when we’re in a season of life we don’t understand, don’t want or didn’t ask for. Dread is not a good motivator.

I have quite a few friends in a difficult season. It’s heartbreaking to watch your friends travel a hard road. How thankful am I that in my hard seasons, God always made sure I had people in my life who had gone before me to help me walk through the valleys.

I’m not saying I’m thankful others went through pain so they could help me. I saying, even though my friends went through painful times God didn’t waste their pain. He used it to help me and I’m sure many others.

Healing is ever so important for that very reason. Healing helps us move forward. Healing releases us from the pained filled memory so we can begin anew.

It’s hard to anticipate new things for our lives, when we hold onto the pain because somewhere along the line, pain became comfortable. The known feeling of pain, became easier than the unknown feeling of “what’s next”?

What’s next could be worse, right? And who wants worse? So, we stay stuck in the comfort of our pain. And who knew pain could become comfortable?

It’s not easy to get back on the “this thing called life” train when we’ve been derailed by the “life” that’s been thrown our way.

We’re not given much grace to grieve our painful experiences when life is still happening all around us. Reba McEntire sang:

“I guess the world didn’t stop for my broken heart.”

The world sure didn’t stop.

It’s why we’re still expected to perform and to slap on the “I’m fine” face. Maybe that’s where you are today. Maybe inside your screaming while painting a smile on your face. If so, I’m really sorry. If no one told you it’s ok to feel your pain, please know feeling and processing through it, is better than ignoring it.

The Lord says that “joy comes in the morning.” With it, the promise of a new day and a new way through the wilderness. Joy isn’t the same as happiness. Joy comes from a deeper, spiritual place. Not from people, places or things.

For all the things that bring us happiness can be taken and easily flipped to unhappiness. That’s why we warned not to build up earthly treasures for they can be taken.

I had a friend who once lived her life with the ideology of “waiting for the other shoe to drop”. She was anticipating dread.

Her brother passed away and it flipped her world upside down. Now she lives in anticipation of a full life as long as she’s here on earth.

No one has the secret sauce to each and every hard life situation. How we get through the hard things is walking them out with others.

And when that’s not working, the Lord says for ALL to come to Him. People may not always know what we need, but God’s already got things working in place to get you where you need to go.

Psalm 5:3 reminds us to talk with our Heavenly Father:

“In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.” (NIV)

We have a part in this. We lift our voices to the Lord. We lay out our needs. Then we wait. How do we wait? Expectantly.

But, that takes trust. If you don’t trust God, the waiting will be more like dread. Especially if we think God hates us. Which He absolutely, does not.

We can’t anticipate what God will do in answer to our prayers, but we can wait with anticipation that a good God will answer with His best. Maybe you need a reminder of just how much God loves you. Let me leave you with Psalm 139 (MSG)

1-6 God, investigate my life;
    get all the facts firsthand.
I’m an open book to you;
    even from a distance, you know what I’m thinking.
You know when I leave and when I get back;
    I’m never out of your sight.
You know everything I’m going to say
    before I start the first sentence.
I look behind me and you’re there,
    then up ahead and you’re there, too—
    your reassuring presence, coming and going.
This is too much, too wonderful—
    I can’t take it all in!

7-12 Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit?
    to be out of your sight?
If I climb to the sky, you’re there!
    If I go underground, you’re there!
If I flew on morning’s wings
    to the far western horizon,
You’d find me in a minute—
    you’re already there waiting!
Then I said to myself, “Oh, he even sees me in the dark!
    At night I’m immersed in the light!”
It’s a fact: darkness isn’t dark to you;
    night and day, darkness and light, they’re all the same to you.

13-16 Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
    you formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
    Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
    I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
    you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
    how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
    all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
    before I’d even lived one day.

17-22 Your thoughts—how rare, how beautiful!
    God, I’ll never comprehend them!
I couldn’t even begin to count them—
    any more than I could count the sand of the sea.
Oh, let me rise in the morning and live always with you!
    And please, God, do away with wickedness for good!
And you murderers—out of here!—
    all the men and women who belittle you, God,
    infatuated with cheap god-imitations.
See how I hate those who hate you, God,
    see how I loathe all this godless arrogance;
I hate it with pure, unadulterated hatred.
    Your enemies are my enemies!

23-24 Investigate my life, O God,
    find out everything about me;
Cross-examine and test me,
    get a clear picture of what I’m about;
See for yourself whether I’ve done anything wrong—
    then guide me on the road to eternal life.


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