Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But desire fulfilled is a tree of life.
~ Proverbs 13:12
I look forward to the "first-blooms," of new plants that we have planted in our yard. I am especially excited for the blooms of our "Nancy Tree." Named for a patient of mine whom we celebrated this past week after she died following a long illness. "Nancy," encouraged me to order this tree, and now I am waiting in anticipation for it to bloom.
There is something about anticipation that brings about many feelings in our lives. Jesus understood the anticipation of his death while praying in the garden of Gethsemane, and how his death would somehow become something good for all humanity. Anticipation greets us when we think about our own journey, from this earthly life to an eternal one. It becomes a great source of anticipation, as well as, anxiety. So often I hear these words shared by my patients, "I'm not afraid of death. I'm afraid of how I will die."
Jesus saw death not as an ending, but a new beginning.
The real question for us is how do we live in the anticipation of the things to come without losing sight of today? We cannot always know what tomorrow, or even the next moment may bring, but we can remain faithful through our anticipation. By allowing our faith to overwhelm our anticipation, we can live fully into each day.
Philippians reminds us, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6 - 7)
I can't wait to see the blooms on our "Nancy Tree," that also serve as a reminder that eternity awaits, and faith will carry me us as we remain in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2019
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain and ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.