Joy of Anticipation
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jer. 29:11
I just returned from a vacation that was planned for over a year and then immediately set my thoughts on the next upcoming trip. Thinking about every last detail (transportation, tickets, activities, sundry items, schedules, etc.) consumes my thoughts. Knowing the time will be spent with the people I love the most creates a special sort of excitement. I want everything to be just perfect. Even though the people I am traveling with don’t even realize it, anything I can prepare to help make it special ignites my energy for further preparation.
This flurry of activity on my part made me stop and think about the verse in Jeremiah 29:11. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
When I have focused on this verse in the past I usually referenced it as a verse in times of uncertainty to give hope and a future. I viewed it as a reassurance from the receiver’s perspective, but I have never actually viewed the verse from God’s point of view.
He knows the plans he has for us! There is an excitement and anticipation that only the one who is planning can realize. There are details that most don’t even realize go into planning. A flurry of behind the scenes activities take place and offer a specific joy to the planner knowing the outcome will be more than the recipients will expect.
We can only understand the joy of anticipation with the activity of preparation with activities such as orchestrating a special dinner, planning a first date, determining the perfect gift for your loved one, planning the once in a lifetime wedding, or being proud of our accomplishments and striving to achieve new goals. The more passionate we are about the activity we are planning, the more it consumes our thoughts and emotions, creating real joy as we anticipate the outcome. Just try talking about something you are planning and you will see the energizing effect.
That being said it is indisputable God has prepared, knows the plans (Jer 29:11) and is excited for the outcome to unfold. But it is even better than this because we know according to the Ephesians 3:20, He is able to do immeasurably more than anything we could ask, think, or imagine. The plans he has for us will be so perfect and tailor made just for us. There is no one who knows us better. Every last detail has been thought of in advance.
Thank you Jesus for loving me the way you do and for the plans you have created for me that I have yet unseen.