Anticipatory Living…

I celebrated another birthday and remembered when I was about three years old.  Someone asked me when my next birthday was.  My answer seemed logical at the time, “I don’t know, it was on Sunday last year.  It keeps changing.”  I wondered why this ‘someone’ laughed.
There is always a birthday anticipation that grows inside me as my birthday approaches.  When I was sixteen, I remember it was a big year.  I obtained a driver’s license, able to wear lipstick and had permission to date. That was a big year.  What could top the sense of freedom and being in control and growing up that year?   
This year, in particular, I realize what the anticipation is.  It has nothing to do with hot fudge sundaes with pecans or ‘likes’ on Facebook.  It is beyond this world…It is the understanding and giving control to God over my every decision and thought.  It is the knowing of the immensity and faithfulness of God’s love long before I was born.
It is about falling in love with Jesus as my Savior…and being forgiven of my sins.   The memory of my Mother remains with me.  She felt it was time to die and God wasn’t ready yet.  Christmas came and she thought Christmas would be a good time to die.  We do not decide the ‘when’. 
It is about learning to let God have the control of our earth clock of time here.  It is believing and trusting God.  It is about learning to be patient and keeping our eyes on Jesus.   Learning to accept what is and see God’s Hand through it all.
We long for the adventure of the new year set before us once a year – we long for the new birth in Jesus and the journey that begins anew with Him.  This longing for Heaven is part of our dna.  It cannot be erased.  We substitute many things to become ‘new’.  All these substitutes come from the world that has an end.  The anticipatory feeling of birthdays on earth changes from blowing out the candles on a cake to the anticipation of our Home in Heaven.
It is trusting and having faith in the love God has for us.  It is the gift of grace He offers us which cannot be earned.  It is ours through a love we often cannot comprehend. 
When we accept God’s love and live for Him, we have Hope.  That is the beginning of a new life in us.  Without the Hope of eternal life, we cannot endure this life.
Our lives often unravel without the Love of God.  We think nothing can be right again, but our hope and faith in the Glory of God sustain us through the uncomfortable times and we rest in His Promises. 
Lord my God, you have performed many wonders for us. Your plans for us are too numerous to list. You have no equal.  If I tried to recite all your wonderful deeds, I would never come to the end of them. Psalm 40:5.
But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me, and through each night I sing his songs, praying to God who gives me life.  Psalm 42:8
You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered!  I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand!  And when I wake up, you are still with me!  Psalm 139:16-18
When I am overwhelmed, you alone know the way I should turn.  Wherever I go, my enemies have set traps for me.  Psalm 142:3
“For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior.  He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” Zephaniah 3:17
 “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love.  John 15:9
 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 8:38-39
 Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.  Ephesians 1:4-5
He will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to his heart. He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young. Isaiah 40:11
See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him.  I John 3:1
Your love so great, Higher than the stars, Unfailing love…Deeper than the sea, Your love so sure.  Stronger than the mountains.  Oh, your love…It’s everything to me – How deep, how wide, how long, how high!  (Love so High – Matt Redmon) 

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