As I sit here at a coffee shop my wonderful husband and my mother-in-law are tag teaming watching the kids so I can have a “mommy morning” alone before Baby #3 arrives any day now. The second half of this pregnancy has been a busy one as we’ve traveled through many states raising support for our return to Thailand. Just this morning, we calculated that we’ve driven nearly 10,000 miles since our start of deputation last fall. Incredible! We praise the Lord for safety across all of those miles.
Lately, I’ve been waking up each morning wondering, “Will today be the day? Will today be when I go into labor and we get to meet our second son?” The anticipation is so strong! Any little pain or anything makes me think “Is this it?!” It’s hard to even think about anything else sometimes because my mind wanders to what is ahead for myself and for our family as we welcome this new bundle of joy. Any mother who has experienced labor and delivery knows exactly what I’m talking about!
This anticipation has brought about a whole new level of activity for me! I mean…who knows when this kid will show up! It could be anytime! And I wouldn’t want my kitchen to be a mess when he does. Or for my floors to be covered in a sticky mess from my toddlers. Or the laundry to be piled up…you get the idea. There are closets to organize, flowers to plant, baby clothes and gear to wash and prepare. The list goes on and on! At any time I may run out of time and whatever is undone will be left undone until I can get to it after he is born.
This major event always takes my mind to an event that every believer should be anticipating: the return of Christ. Many will never experience the anticipation of being in labor with a child. But every believer must be in anticipation for this incredible event!
The word “anticipation” means “realization in advance, expectation or hope.” Sadly, there will be many who are not anticipating the return of Christ and will be caught by surprise and wishing that they had thought about it more. You see, anticipation is a state of mind. It requires thinking about the event! So, how does anticipating the return of Christ look in the life of a believer?
Anticipating the return of Christ will affect your thinking.
1 Peter 1:13 says, “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;”
We are to have an awareness that Christ is returning and it will be glorious! Our thoughts can tell us a lot about what is important to us. Anticipating Christ’s return will turn our thoughts toward Christ and toward what eternity holds. Just as right now my thoughts are turned toward the event of labor and delivery as well as life with another child, our thoughts should be focused on what is to come and what our actions now will do to affect that! Which brings me to my next point.
Anticipating the return of Christ will affect your actions.
It would look so foolish if I knew that this baby was coming and I did nothing to prepare. If the baby clothes stayed tucked away in the basement and the car seat remained stained and dusty from the last baby. If I didn’t prepare my home for my recovery time and if I never even talked about the baby. You would probably look at me and wonder if I were in denial about having a baby! Something would seem wrong. How much more so should we prepare for an event as amazing as eternity! If we are properly anticipating this, we will be busy! We will be preparing our hearts each day as if “today is the day!”. We will be telling others about the excitement and the hope we have. Sadly, we often behave as if we don’t believe it’s actually going to happen. We put more importance on what we know is actually going to happen today. How foolish of us! In reality, we don’t even know what will happen today.
Anticipating the return of Christ will give you hope.
If you have been saved, you have a glorious hope! As I said, there are many who will never experience the kind of anticipation I am experiencing right now. But anticipating the return of Christ gives every believer hope and purpose!
Titus 2:13 says “Looking for the blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ.”
What a blessing to know that we will spend eternity praising our Savior and worshiping Him! It makes the trials and difficulties of life in this flesh seem more bearable when we think about what is ahead for all those who trust in Him. One thing I hear often as a mom with young children is the phrase “this too shall pass.” It won’t always be this hard, physically speaking. But what we can say about this life is “this too shall pass!" We can’t get bogged down by the difficulties but must keep our eyes and our hearts focused on what is coming. And THAT will affect how we respond to the struggle we are currently facing.
I anticipate that in a few days I will have a newborn in my arms. 🙂 What are you anticipating today?
Serving the Lord in the country of Thailand, Alyssa is the wife of missionary Benjamin Hall and Mom to four young kids with one on the way. Each day seems to bring new adventures as she studies the Thai language, homeschools, and ministers to the many little hands that reach for hers. Of course, music is almost always part of the day, whether by listening, singing, or playing and it now echoes through the voices of little ones. Read Alyssa’s salvation testimony here.