Listen to this devotional:
Philippians 4:6-7 – Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, 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. (NIV)
How many of us live in anticipation? For some, the future might be a time of anxiety — we're not looking forward to what lies ahead; or it could be a time of exhilaration — something we have planned and look forward to.
I have been asked about my tomatoes — at a time when they are just flowering, and a few tomatoes have poked out of the flower heads. I look forward to the time when they will have ripened and I am able to share home-grown, plump, meaty, juicy, red tomatoes.
Planning ahead is something we all do with great expectation — when we think of things we have experienced before, things that were good. Sometimes in life, though, as with my tomatoes, things happen that aren't pleasant.
In the past two years, I haven't mentioned the tomatoes in my garden. You might ask, "Why?" Well, be it the soil, fertilizer, or lack of it, my tomatoes were sparse, and many grew together, deformed. They were really nothing to talk about.
Though it is early in the season here in southern Ontario, I look forward in anticipation to a much better crop this year. From the outside, the plants look strong and healthy — but many things can happen.
The weather has much to do with the tomato crop's success, and none of us can control that. In some — no — in all ways, we are under God's control as we wait for the outcome of a crop blessed with good weather — our hope — but not always God's will.
This brings me to the thought of someone I know who is waiting in anticipation for serious surgery to remove diseased tissues that contain cancer — a much more serious wait than the one for the final results of my tomato crop this year.
Here is where today's Scripture speaks to us as we wait in anticipation. We are not to be anxious about anything, but by prayer, to present our petitions to God so that He might guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Prayer: Dear Lord, be with each one of us this day as we wait in anticipation for Your will to be done. Enable us to look forward to the future and to trust in You for the outcome, whether it seems good or bad to us. Speak to us in truth, and give us the expectation of Your best to come forth, as we pray in Jesus' name. Amen.