|by Suzie Johnson|
Before 2013 was even at a close, I had the word I wanted to focus on for the new year already picked out. Or at least I thought I did. Now I can’t even remember what that word was.
But one night in late December, I went to bed feeling something that is difficult for Christians to admit to: fear. There was a situation in my life that needed fixing. I couldn’t see any possible way for it could be fixed. And yet, I knew that in spite of it, I couldn’t spend my time feeling fearful.
That’s counter-productive. It also puts a barrier between me and God. I couldn’t put my full faith and trust in him if I was feeling fear. But this isn’t a judgment on anyone who feels fear. We are all human, and our development of faith and trust is between us and God. For me, there was a barrier.
And the fear was making me sick; both physically and emotionally. I had to figure out a way to deal with it. As I prayed out each of my fears to God, a word came to my mind.
I didn’t know why it came to mind. I just knew if it came to me while I prayed, I needed to give it some consideration. As I did, some of the almost crippling fear that had gripped me for way too long began to ease. Not that the situation was fixed, by any means, but for the first time, I didn’t feel as afraid.
To be clear, I never doubted God would be there for me. But I was afraid of what would happen if the situation wasn’t fixed.
That might seem a little contradictory, but I can’t explain it any better than this: I don’t think knowing he’s always there for me is the same as knowing I will never have to experience pain or unpleasantness. And no one wants to experience pain of any sort, and when we’re faced with it, it’s kind of scary. Sometimes, it’s a lot scary.
After much thought and a little more prayer, with the word still whispering around in my mind, I determined that I should wait expectantly and see what God would do to help in this situation. More of the anxiety and fear began to ease, and I went to sleep feeling almost excited to see just how everything would play out.
Excited, not fearful. Even now, I marvel at the thought.
The next morning, for the first time in a long time, I didn’t wake up with a feeling of dread. I spent some time that morning searching the Bible, because for my fears to ease the way they did, there was no doubt the word expectantly was from God. This is what I found:
Give ear to my words, O Lord, consider my sighing.
Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray.
In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice;
in the morning I lay my requests before your and wait in expectation.
~~Psalm 5: 1-3
Wait in expectation.
I’ve seen this scripture before. I think I’ve always thought of it as “I will pray and expect you to answer,” almost as if I should expect the answer to be what I want. But on this day, on this morning, I saw it differently. I viewed the phrase “wait in expectation” much like a mother waiting for her child to be born. There’s excitement in that, eagerness, an air of “I can hardly wait”.
The moment I had that realization, I claimed that scripture as my own for the year. Not just a word for to focus on for the year, but an entire scripture. And not long after that, on that very same morning, the first of many blessings came. By the end of the day, I began to wonder just how many times God could bless a person in one day. Now, at the end of January, exactly thirty days later, I’m wondering how many times he could bless a person in one month.
Our God is such an amazing God, and tonight I am so very thankful that he loves us more than we can even imaging loving our own children.
Suzie Johnson is the author of two contemporary novels, True North, and No Substitute (under the name Susan Diane Johnson). Her first historical novel, Sweet Mountain Music, will be available in May. She is also member of American Christian Fiction Writers, and Romance Writers of America. Suzie and her husband are the parents of a wonderful son, and they live on an island in the Pacific Northwest with their naughty little cat. She believes her island is the perfect spot for writing romantic fiction. You can contact her through her website (below), or at firstname.lastname@example.org.