Great anticipation

Sharper Focus


As I write, I’m indulging in one of my favorite times of the year. Perched at a high-top table in a local Seattle coffee spot, I’m surrounded by leisurely coffee drinkers, wonderful smells, fall décor and posters displaying a number of specialty pumpkin drinks that only arrive once a year. Just outside the window, trees covered in bright red and orange leaves dot the crowded street under a clear sky. And as busy people pass through the streets, scarves and coats in tow, I can sense the excitement that fall, in all its splendor, is upon us…

… and it’s all downhill from here. Thanksgiving will come and go, the Cowboys will play their football, kettles will have their kickoff, and Christmas-crazed corps will take a deep breathe and not dream of exhaling until December 25. Then, of course, there is shopping mall mayhem, one too many open houses, mini-musicals, stocking stuffer stress, baking blitzes, the picture perfect tree, Christmas card chaos, and the travesty of holiday travel. Yikes.

I think you’d agree that it’s easy to become wrapped up in everything that this season holds. I always anticipate the holidays and look forward to time with family and friends. This year, even more so! Added to the usual anticipation is anxiety over the arrival of our first child just after the New Year!
It’s clear. Anticipation plays a powerful role in our lives. With or without seasons or special events causing our blood pressure to rise, do you ever wonder what really stirs us to excitement? It doesn’t take much, does it?
Upon the arrival of yet another commercialized Christmas, ask yourself this: How eager am I for the coming of our King? I don’t mean ensuring Christ the appropriate attention due during advent—because, after all, he is the reason for the season. I am talking about daily anticipating the manifest presence of God in your life. Years before Jesus even arrived in our world, it was declared by the prophet Isaiah that a child would be born who would be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace, bringing a peace that would never end as he ruled with fairness and justice for all eternity (Isaiah 9:6-7). The King has come, friends. If Isaiah saw fit to anticipate Christ’s coming centuries before it occurred, shouldn’t we still be excited by this news? Christ has come, is coming, and will come again!

I fear too many of us live in a world where our relationship with Christ peaked at the point of conversion but has flatlined since then. Does the depth of his love still excite you? He’s excited by your love. Does his unending grace still make you weep? He’s weeping for you. Does your soul still thirst for him? He thirsts for you. Does your faith lack luster? He wants to shine through you. Has the joy of your salvation waned? It doesn’t have to. Christ can be as alive in your life as he was that starry night, so many years ago. He can be as real in your life as he was the day he rose from the grave, granting salvation to all those who believed.

Take a moment to consider Christ’s presence in your life. Maybe you haven’t been spending intimate time with your savior. Maybe your morning prayers are hurried and insincere. Perhaps you’ve succumbed to a steadfast religion as opposed to a vibrant and ever-growing relationship. Recapture the zeal of the prophet Isaiah when he spoke forth that Christ was coming, remember the earnest hearts of all those awaiting the King, the night he was born.

Thirst for more of Christ in your life today. He will not disappoint. Anticipate the coming King, for Christ, in all his splendor, is upon us.

Joy to the world, the Lord has come!
“Look, I am coming soon! Let anyone who hears this say, ‘Come.’ Let anyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who desires drink freely from the water of life.”
Revelation 22:7, 17

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