400 years had passed, and it seemed that God had dismissed Himself out of worldly presence. If we lived in that time period, what would we have thought? No judges or kings with Godly influence, no apparent prophets to tell anyone something is coming, and religious leaders who kept making things up to satisfy and justify their own worth, their elevated value as spiritual “lords”, and cementing themselves as a core of power and prestige.
Yet hidden in plain sight were many Old Testament Scriptures that were alive with clues that something WAS about to happen (even though it wasn’t the Old Testament then).
Yet, there was a man named Simeon who was directly told by the spirit of God BEFORE the Lord was born, that Simeon was NOT going to die until he had seen the Lord’s Christ. How old was Simeon when the Holy Spirit told him that? Was he 30? Was he 50? Was he 70? The Bible doesn’t tell us how old he was. But it is sure that it wasn’t the day before… Look at verse Luke 2:29, because evidently he had waiting a long time.
So, Simeon had great anticipation about this event. It is not know why Simeon was chosen, or if ONLY Simeon was chosen. But the Bible says that there was a big crowd there because so many were there with their offerings. And the Holy Spirit guided Simeon right to Jesus. Simeon had his anticipation fulfilled!
Also, when Jacob found out that Joseph was missing, and was falsely told by his other sons that he had been killed by a beast, he mourned. Jacob’s sons knew differently, but things got out of hand when he disappeared with those in a caravan who bought him into slavery. Decades later, in a twist of reversal, Joseph found THEM when they came to buy corn in Egypt. Over time, Jacob was told that Joseph was NOT dead! What days / weeks of anticipation did Jacob have before he met his long lost son?
Anticipation can cause sleepless nights, health issues, create disharmony in relationships, and lead us to making irrational judgements. Yet, anticipation can also MOTIVATE us to joyfully look ahead to what God will have in store for us!! God can make long range plans and immediate plans, as well.
There was a church sign one time that read, “Prayers are when burdens change shoulders.” How many prayers did Simeon lift up before the Christ child entered the temple? How many prayers went up from Jacob as he shlogged through the sands into Egypt?
And then on a personal level, how many prayers do we lift up as the vehicle to ask God to guide lost people, hurting people, damaged and crushed people, or desperate people into OUT paths so WE can minister to them in HIS name? Do we also anticipate that? They are out there who just need an encouraging touch, and kind word, a positive comment in a swirling sea of discouragement, or an opportunity to be heard. Where are they? Are they poor? Are they wealthy? Are they like us? Are they different from us? Are they close? Are they far away?
What maters is that we LISTEN and ANTICIPATE what God is going to do. It might be tomorrow. It might be next year. It might even be in many years. But the Lord is our keeper, and He can shower us with as many opportunities as He wants. Just be ready!!!
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.