My son loves to check for mail. Every day when we come home, Bryce hops out of the car and runs to the mailbox. I always smile as he stands at the curb checking every envelope to see if something has his name on it. When I ask him why he likes to get the mail, he says, “I don’t want to miss anything important!”
More times than not, he walks back to the house with his head hanging down. “Nothing for me today,” he mumbles.
It always hurts my heart to see him disappointed. So recently, I decided to write him a letter. I took it to the post office and mailed it back to my house.
The next day, I’m not sure who was more excited about “mail time.”
I watched from the garage as he opened the mailbox and pulled out a stack of letters. My heart rate increased as he sorted through the envelopes. Would it arrive today or tomorrow? One, two, three envelopes later –there it was- He found it!
Bryce’s face lit up as he read his name on the envelope. Forgetting to close the mailbox, he started running back to the house dropping several letters on the ground.
He ran inside and immediately ripped open the envelope. I watched his face as he read the words one by one (He’s only five).
“Dear Bryce, you are my best buddy. I love you very much. Dad.” Below the text, I drew a picture of Bryce and myself holding hands and smiling.
I know -it’s not the most eloquent text. And my stick-figure drawing was certainly not worthy of any art awards! Yet, Bryce celebrated that letter because it fulfilled a deep desire he had anticipated as he checked the mailbox every day.
The Psalmist described similar anticipation when he wrote, “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning” (Psalm 130:6).
In the original language, the idea behind the word, “wait” is eager anticipation.
The Psalmist says he is just as anxious to hear from God as a “watchman” was anxious to see the morning. Imagine a soldier taking the night watch. As time seems to crawl, his focus turns to looking intently for the first flicker of morning light to mark the end of his shift. Night after night, he experiences the same anticipation –much like a child anticipating a letter in the mailbox day after day.
Do you still anticipate God’s communication to you? Like the psalmist, do you hope in His Word?
I wonder if God watches us as we open His Word with the anticipation of a father watching his son open a letter? Can you imagine the emotion of God? (Yes, God displays emotions in Scripture) as His children receive revelation through the illumination of the Spirit (John 14:26, 1 Cor. 2:10-13)?
Of course, all of that assumes you are in God’s Word to begin with. In other words, you can’t receive the message unless you are going to the mailbox. After all, you don’t want to miss anything important!
If you are struggling with getting in the Word daily, here’s a few ideas to help you get going:
1) Establish a regular time that you will get into God’s Word every day.
2) Keep that time free on your schedule (the same way you reserve meal times).
3) Invite your family to take part in your daily time in the Word. Not only will it keep them from distracting you, but it will also help them develop an anticipation for spending time in Scripture.
4) Take advantage of family prayer times (meals, bedtime prayers, etc) to ask God to prepare your heart for the next time you are in the Word. Ask Him to ignite your soul with anticipation!