Do you remember the old Heinz® ketchup commercial? The song that accompanied the slow pouring, best on fries ever—ketchup: “Anticipation”. “Anticipa-a-a-tion is making me wait”. It’s one of those songs that gets stuck in your head when you hear it—but in life—it’s one of those things we grow weary of doing. Waiting.
Well, you waited 365 days for 2023 and here she is! Bright-sparkly and brand-new! Maybe in your house—she’s not as sparkly. But 2023 is “new”, nonetheless. She’s never had footprints walk here before— but you and I are about to change that—putting our mark on 2023.
I generally begin considering what might be “my word” for the year in October or November. I always ask the Lord what He wants to say to me—or show me in the coming year. It was much later this last time. I asked mid-December. I asked—and the only thing that came to my mind in that very moment was “Anticipate”.
I’m not a gloomy person—but when I heard that word, I kind of sank inside. It meant (to me), I was about to “WAIT” for something. But couldn’t it also be…my “waiting” was over? Meaning, the things I had been seeking God about -was going to be realized this year. That’s the way I chose to see it.
Often, a big part in “anticipating” something is—letting go. Letting go can be painful. A big Band-Aid® won’t cover the pain that accompanies letting go.
Since I work at a funeral home—the letting go is something I see first-hand every single day. Letting go of someone you love is the absolute hardest—no two ways about it. Grieving happens in life with letting go of other things—but things can be replaced…people cannot.
When I began thinking of all the things that I let go of in the last 61 years of my life—I couldn’t help but recognize that to let go meant that sooner or later—I would be receiving something else. I jotted a few things down:
When company cutbacks caused Jeff to lose his job (many years ago), even though I cried and grieved about this—soon, God showed us that this was the opportunity for Jeff to do what he had always wanted to do—begin his own business. That business led Jeff to do some fill-in work at our church fellowship headquarters—and in turn—that led to a full-time job with benefits.
Years later, when we were called to the mission field, it required for us to let go of the life we had loved and enjoyed for 12+ years. Yet in doing so, that offered us the opportunity to live in two different countries, experience two different cultures and meet and love so many new people.
In life—we are all in a constant state of letting go. But do we anticipate what comes with that action? Sometimes we have to let go of our children to allow them to walk in the mission field that God has already mapped out for them. Sometimes we have to let them go “their way”—even knowing it is against all we taught them—but praying with a fiery passion that God will bring them back to the place they need to be in Him—even if it means a crushing in the process. Oh, that hurts.
In a conversation with one of our grandsons recently, I reminded him that all his decisions would affect more than just himself. And consequences of poor decisions would often follow him for the rest of his life. God forgives…yes. But our memories of rebellion are a constant reminder of the pain we caused others.
“Let go and let God”—as cliché as that sounds—it’s true. As long as we try to work the situation our way—God cannot do what is necessary to get them to the place where they surrender…even if that place is the hardest most confusing place we’ve ever been. I guess you can tell I’m speaking with experience here. Our prodigal’s journey was the most excruciating walk I’ve ever had—hot coals type of walk. 15+ years of it. But God….
We still have prodigals in our family—and I’m still praying the diligent prayer—anticipating the day when God has their full attention and they want nothing more than Him. Am I willing to endure the slow process if it takes it? Yes. The wait for Heinz® ketchup is nothing compared to this. Eternal life with all my family is worth whatever He feels necessary.
And now—as we have anticipated, 2023 is here. What kind of mark do you want to make? I want my mark to be a mark of powerful prayer. I want it to be impacting prayer. What does that take? Practice. Daily. Not ritualistically, but as a privilege. That’s what it is to me. I get to have a conversation daily with the Creator of the universe…
What is He saying to you? Nothing, you say? You must not have asked Him…because He is always saying something. Sometimes it’s a simple, “I AM here”.
I want to close this out with a challenge: Ask Him. Anticipate a response. Wait for it. It’s the best you will ever taste.
“Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!”Psalm 34:8 ESV
© Angie Knight. All rights reserved.