Waiting vs. Anticipation


Jacob and Rachel courtesy of ortzion.org       I am waiting for something to happen right now. It’s going to be something good, something positive for our family, but it seems to be taking F-O-R-E-V-E-R to find out if what we’ve hoped and prayed for will come to fruition. You may have been in my position before – wanting to know how an important life experience will turn out and what the next step will be, but stuck in limbo-land, just waiting.

We’re in good company. Remember the story of Jacob who loved Rachel, worked seven years for her, and then accidentally married her older sister Leah? I still can’t figure out how that happened, but there wasn’t modern incandescent lighting, so I leave it at that. After Jacob was tricked into marrying Leah, his father-in-law said after a week, Jacob could marry Rachel, too, but he had to work another seven years. The Bible reports that “Jacob served seven years to get Rachel but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her” (Genesis 29:20, NIV). Seven years (plus a week) is a long time to wait – what was Jacob’s secret to the years seeming as if they were just a few days?

I think the key is looking back at what happened to Jacob before he met Rachel and her deceptive father. In Genesis 28:10-22, Jacob has a dream where God tells him, “I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you” (NIV). Jacob affirms his acceptance of this divine blessing, saying “the Lord will be my God” (Genesis 28:22). Before he was faced with waiting, Jacob knew that God had his back and that ultimately, his best interests would be served. Why? Because this is the character of the God he worshipped.

So instead of waiting, Jacob was anticipating. He wasn’t spending his time worrying that Rachel would never be his wife, or that seven years was a long time. Jacob anticipated the outcome rather than fretting over the delay. His waiting turned into anticipation, and despite his father-in-law’s trickery, he married Rachel.

I’m trying to turn my restless waiting into expectant anticipation. I know Who has my back, and if this opportunity is not the one for me, there will be another. I can rest in the character of the God who is faithful while I wait to see the next step.

~by Nan Kuhlman

~photo courtesy of ortzion.org

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