Hopeful anticipation trumpets in my day. I wake up most mornings with praise music flowing through my mind, mostly because it’s praise music that ends my day. I also wake up to such a positive mindset because I make it a habit to make positive my default position.
When I do wake up late or startled, I make myself close my eyes and take a few deep breaths before getting up again. When I open my eyes, I announce, “Today is a very good day.”
Because I choose hope, I find hope in all that lies ahead. I wake up each day and find ways to invest in hope.
Not About Me
Hopeful anticipation comes from something bigger and more powerful than me. If it depended all on me, then there were be too many days when the startled moments and the fretting for being late would rule the day.
- It is about the One that goes before me.
- It is about the One that has made the Way.
- It is about the One that provides all that is needed.
- It is about the One that pours out the exceeding abundantly blessings.
- It is about the One that comes behind me.
The right focus makes the way for me to wake each morning and walk out each day in hopeful anticipation.
A dad began to worry about the attitudes of his children. The one always seemed to complain. The other always seemed happy and grateful no matter what. Both boys were loved the same, given the same meals and benefits, and they were educated the same way.
It made no sense.
One day, the dad decided to do an experiment. He put piles of toys in the room of the complainer – everything the boy had ever talked about. The boy walked in the room, sat down, and cried. “How will I ever keep these clean? What if I break them? I don’t know what to do.”
In the other boy’s room, the dad had piled horse manure. When the boy walked in, he yelped with delight, jumped on top of the pile and started digging. “With this much manure, there has to be a horse in here somewhere.”
It’s not the situations that make us thankful or disgruntled, it’s the attitude of the heart.
Shifting to a Heart of Hope
Not too long ago, I would wake up making a list of all the things I had to get done in the day. Worry might lead the way if bills needed to be paid and the checkbook well was running dry. I focused on me and it exhausted me before I got out of bed (it also kept me from falling asleep at night).
A few years back, about the time I began making reading the Word a priority (coincidence?), I started finding a place of peace before I went to bed and then woke up rested and relaxed in the morning. Circumstances hadn’t changed. My heart focus had.
I let go of the need to change what had happened – because I can’t.
I released the determination to make others do what they should – because I can’t.
I started focusing on the truth of who I am and Whose I am. That has made all the difference.
The One That Goes Before Me
The Israelites faced a lot of unknowns, more than a few armies, and some giants in the journey to walk with God into His promises. In Deuteronomy 31, they are reminded that God is going before them. And since He is the same today as He was yesterday, then He is still going before His children when they are walking in obedience to follow Him into His promises.
When you have the most powerful force going before you, then what can stop you from moving forward?
The One That Has Made the Way
In Isaiah 45, God tells the Children that He will be clearing and paving the road they are to follow. The way is made.
A few years back, I was coming home on the interstate with a friend when we both noticed a dirt road that cut off to the side. “I bet we could get home that way,” she pointed out. We were in a four-wheel drive. We had both been on rougher roads. We could have done it – except. Except we didn’t know where that road actually led. We didn’t know if that road ended before our destination. Except we were on a road that was paved, and we knew it would get us to where we wanted to go.
God has made the Way. Are you taking the dirt path instead of His paved Way?
The One That Provides What Is Needed
I have never seen wild birds sitting around waiting for the restaurant to open. Even the predator birds like the Ospreys and Kingfishers know where to hunt and when to dive. What they need is provided every day.
If the birds are taken care of, then the One that takes care of them will provide me with what I need.
In 1 Kings 17, Elijah is told by God to go to the bend in the river, and the ravens are going to bring him bread and meat. God gives him directions to where the provision will be. All Elijah had to do was follow directions. If he had stopped too soon, he wouldn’t have been in the blessing. The ravens might have flown over and dropped a few crumbs (most likely mixed with bird poop), but the blessing was only where God told him to go.
I can move forward in hopeful anticipation because I know the One that provides what is needed, and I know that if I’m not standing in the provision, then it’s because I’m not where I’m supposed to be.
Are you standing in the provision or standing in bread crumbs and bird poop?
The One That Pours Out the Exceeding Abundantly Blessings
In Ephesians 3, we are told that God WILL do exceeding abundantly, or immeasurably (n one translation) above all we can think or imagine. It took me a while to get my head around this because I have a very large imagination. But if God can move mountains, produce coins in a fish mouth, feed 5000 with 2 fish (and have leftovers aplenty), then why do I think He would be limited to my imagination?
The One That Comes Behind Me
Again in Deuteronomy 1, we are reminded that God goes before us and God follows behind us. I imagine the pillar of wind and fire that followed behind the Israelites as they were leaving Egypt. God is protecting me. If I know that He guards my back, why would I have anything but hopeful anticipation about what is going to happen?
Living in Hopeful Anticipation
I hope because of Whose I am. It’s not because of what I’ve done – although I commit each day to doing all that I know to do. It’s not because of what I have invested or created – although Is strive each day to be invested in doing all I know to do. It’s not even about me – although I am working each day (and each moment of each day) to grow to be the me that I am designed to be.
Hopeful anticipation leads me through the storms and boldly into what is ahead even if I can’t see it because I believe.
What is holding you back from your hopeful anticipation?
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