Anticipation...It's what builds as we look forward to an upcoming event. It's the excitement that comes from the unknown and the possibilities. Anxiety...It's what builds as we dread an upcoming event. It's the worry and fret that comes from the unknown and the possibilities.
Not much difference in those to situations, is there? There is an unknown future event in both and yet anticipation and anxiety are VERY different.
Every year I attend a Mom Heart Conference. Registration opens in November for the Texas February Conference and I think I am usually one of the first to register! LOL! A site stalker for open registration. HAHA! I anticipate the beautifully clean rooms of the hotel we stay in, the quiet stillness of the morning looking out onto the pond outside the hotel, the chocolate, the ladies I will be in the company of, the acapella verse of Holy, Holy, Holy that 300+ women join their voices to sing, and the Most of All...my encounter with the Holy Spirit, touching my heart for Him and renewing my focus. This is anticipation.
On the other hand...Last year my daughter had a weird rash come up on her leg. After watching it a couple days, we took her to the doctor. To make an EXTREMELY long story EXTREMELY short, after the Doc visit, UrgentCare visit, ER, ambulance, and another ER trip and back to the Doc...all on consecutive nights...I was filled with MUCH anxiety. I couldn't sleep. I became that hovering mother...not just over my daughter, but also concerning my son...who was perfectly fine. I also hovered over my hubby. I had NO peace. Even though I was praying, I wasn't allowing the Peace of God to fill me...I was CHOOSING to stay anxious. I even experiencing small panic attacks. I didn't want to leave the house. I surely didn't want the kids out of my site. Anxiety had taken HOLD of my life...and it lasted for about 3 months. (the story of my freedom from Anxiety)
"do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7
Clearly, you can tell that scenario 2 was unhealthy and had ill effects on my family and my personal well being. What you may not realize is scenario 1 also has...to some extent...ill effects. You see, I can be so caught up in the anticipation of set apart time, that I miss what the Lord has for me NOW. Our God is NOT limited to a conference, a church service, a Bible study or a retreat. He is alive and active in our lives on a moment by moment basis. If we are looking ahead too much...we miss the now!
My Life is ordained by the Lord. Each Day is a new day to seek His face and chase after His will for my life. His will for my today may be reading with my family, doing laundry or cooking dinner...it may be preparing my home to recieve women for a Bible study...it is sometimes, being still and KNOWING He is God. On any of these days, the NOW is where God gives me the step by step instructions so I can live in Peace and Joy. That doesn't mean that hardships don't come along...it simply means that I will be better prepared for those as they come because I have taken time to seek the Lord NOW.
My challenge to you...and me...is to anticipate today! Enjoy where you are as you journey on this path He has for Your Life. Anticipate what God has for TODAY and not to miss Him because we aren't listening.