Yesterday, a friend gave me a treat…. a little baggie containing several scrumptious, chocolate-chip cookies (with brightly colored sprinkles!).  One word:  Yummy.

 Memories of childhood flooded back to me as I chewed the wonderous, tasty sweets.  Once a week, my family and I always went on a Friday evening trip to the market.  Ok, ok…. I know you may be thinking, how in the world was a trip to the market fun for a little girl?  Well, in actuality it wasn’t that great of entertainment to run errands, and buy groceries.  However, each week as a special treat, we were allowed upon first entering the Brookshire Brothers store to choose a cookie of our own choosing.  Then, as my parents shopped, we nibbled on said cookie.    I could not wait each week for that cookie!!!!  My sisters and I would peer into the glass counter, looking over each delicious smelling, tasting, looking. delectable treat!  Cookies with icing, cookies with sprinkles, chocolate cookies, peanut-butter cookies, and my all time favorite:  Chocolate chip with chocolate candies baked into the scrumptious mix.  Ahhhhh.  And, of course the obviously best time was also when they were fresh from the oven.

Anticipation.

It made my Friday go by so slowly….. I could not wait!  Yet, the anticipation itself was sweet.  It was fun just contemplating the important decision from all the cookie styles, and wonderous choices to be made.  Anticipating the smell of the bakery, and the fun of seeing which cookie my sisters would choose.  Anticipating the sheer pleasure of the first bite.  (I always took a BIG honking bite… I wanted to TASTE that yumminess all the way.  My sisters both took teeny bites as to conserve.  Aw. C’mon girls!)

Do you have something you joyfully anticipate today?  Is there something that even when the day drudges along, and then when that negativity creeps into your life… do you have that expectation there you can hold onto, knowing that something really good is coming one day soon…?

an·tic·i·pate  

1. To feel or realize beforehand; foresee.

2. To look forward to, especially with pleasure; expect.

We have little joys all around us.  I anticipate now that this evening Wesley, Paul and I will snuggle at bedtime – singing our song together, and I will treasure those moments.  And then…. there are many, many more things in this life that we all can anticipate, be grateful for, and that each day give us a reason to smile.

And then there are the very difficult days for us all.  We trudge on fighting our internal and external influences, struggling for a reason to smile.  We search high and low through our emotions for a reason to experience the joy of anticipation. The day seems sad, with no lightness to our step, and only looking forward to even more hard steps placed in front of us for each day.  Why smile?  Why cast off the yucky drudgery?  Then I am reminded that there is such a reason, there is ALWAYS a reason.

We are loved.  We are loved with so great a love, we cannot even comprehend the vastness.  In this love, Christ died for our failures, so that we could be reconciled to our Father.  We can anticipate fully the day when we will be with Him forever.  This life is only temporary.  These pains, frustrations, distractions, and weaknesses are only for a moment…. it feels so overwhelming now, but it is only for a short time in light of all eternity.  Know this love.  This love does not disappoint, but gives hope.  This love gives me anticipation for the day when I spend forever with my King, who saves me.  This love changes my heart daily, as I see the depth, and height a little more clearly each passing day that He has for me, and that causes me to get excited thinking about how glorious His plans are for me.  A chocolate cookie with candies has nothing on eternity with my Father.

We can look forward to, especially with pleasure, the joy that is coming…. today we will endure, and even rejoice in, knowing that one day:  it will all be worth the wait.

Anticipate.

 “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”  Phillipians 3:8-14  

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