Looking Forward?

If you’re like me, there’s probably something you’re looking forward to. Maybe it’s the premiere of a long-awaited sequel to your favorite movie franchise. How about a family reunion where “everyone” will be there. Or it could be an appointment where the doctor says the tests are “clear”.

We’re looking forward to a family vacation. We’ve made many plans, bought the tickets, kept (and finally revealed) great secrets, packed the bags. Our departure is soon. So soon, it’s hard to concentrate on anything else. It’s been a little consuming and I’ve become a little anxious about it. Of course there are great expectations. And hopes that there are no disappointments.

Memories will be made. There’s no doubt about that. Even if there be problems or trials. Romans 5 reminds us that even though those problem and trials WILL happen. But they lead us to something else, then something else, and finally…

“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” Romans 5:3-5 NLT

God is fashioning us, molding us (if we let Him) to be more and more like His glorious Son. And that certainly will NEVER disappoint and is the greatest thing we could EVER look forward to.

How Long?

“Are we there yet?” — The mantra of the summer road trip.

I know I’m guilty of showing my impatience. Wishing the time away for that special moment I’ve been waiting for. But what have I missed? What has passed me by while looking so far ahead?

I’m sure you’ve also heard this motto: “Life’s a journey, not a destination”. Yes, but how do you deal with the potholes and detours and “check engine” light?

Psalm 13 speaks of another kind of waiting, longing. Four times in the first two verses Davids asks, “How long?” Pleading for God’s help. Agonizing over what seems to be abandonment. Then it’s amazing how quickly David gets to verse 5: “But…” He quickly turns to trust, rejoice, and have hope.

He knows his God will answer. He is loved by God with an everlasting love. You are loved. Our soul needs to know we are loved. Matthew Henry says it so well:

“Nothing is more killing to a soul than the want of God’s favor; nothing more reviving than the return of it.”

To be heard by God, and answered, is (should be) very humbling. The creator of all that is, listens. To me, to you. What a cause for great rejoicing! But for how long? The well-known band U2 recorded a song 40, which is loosely based on the following verses:

“I waited patiently for the LORD to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the LORD.” Psalms 40:1–3 NLT

The end of the song repeats the question “how long, to sing this song?” Yes, how long?

“I will sing of the LORD’s unfailing love forever! Young and old will hear of your faithfulness.” Psalms 89:1 NLT

-er or -est?

I’ve always wondered, “Who will be the one to have the world record for [insert your favorite, olympic-timed event here] that will NEVER be broken?” You do realize there has to be a limit at some point, right? Others will work and train and push to be faster, but there is a “fastest” out there. Somewhere. Maybe that’s the attraction. Nobody knows. “Maybe it will be me”. But not “me-me”; I’m not training for that. I’m training for this: Continue reading