Just so we understand each other, let me make sure we understand each other. I am not asking whether you are pregnant. There is a difference between pregnant and expecting. If you are pregnant it means you are scheduled to give birth to a child. If you are expecting, that can mean you are eagerly anticipating any of several events.
For instance, you’re on your way to church and you are expecting to meet God there. His presence is always transformational so you eagerly look forward to the next hour during which your life will be changed. You are eager, expectant, hopeful, excited. You are expecting that through the power of the preached Word, the energizing experience of worship, the sacredness of the place, and the amazing influence of great music you will be changed. So, you drive a little faster. When you’re expecting, it does that to you.
As the traffic lights zip past, an involuntary smile spreads across your face. You remember last week, the couple with the marriage that was struggling to stay afloat… They came forward at the conclusion of the service and were candid about their struggles. Two of the elders who knelt beside them at the altar gently coached them through the forgiveness they needed to exchange. The tears showed it was real. As they walked up the aisle together after the benediction no one in the room doubted the restoration had been everything they needed. So your smile just now was in expectancy that today would have its own miracles. When you’re expecting, it does that to you.
Half a mile from the church you fall in behind a black Toyota. It seems a bit familiar; then you recall that these were the folks with their two small children who, till last week, hadn’t been to church in a long while. But the ushers had smothered them with welcome when they showed up and the kids absolutely fell in love with Sabbath School. So you correctly assume the Holy Spirit has been at work this week and here they are again. You get the distinct sense that as they approach the front door of the church the watching angel choir strikes a note higher. You’re right in expecting that part of the family is returning home. This time the tears are your own. When you’re expecting, it does that to you.
There are few experiences more boring than to attend church and not be engaged. There are few experiences more enriching than to attend church when you’re expecting to see God active in the powerful restoration work He loves to do.
By Don Jacobsen