Dawn will break. The day is near. The amazing moment will soon arrive. Our expectation will quickly turn into reality. When will it happen? We do not know for sure. Yet we are certain the time will come. We are certain she will come. Everlynn Sarah will be here with us… and we will behold her beautiful face and nestle her in our arms…. and so we wait.
We live in expectation. For the past nine months – and especially for the past few weeks – we have lived with an unquenchable expectation. Stephanie and I wake up each bright, wintry morning with our thoughts and conversation filled with the question: “Will today be the day?” Every time Stephanie calls or texts me, I immediately wonder: “Is this it?! Has our long-awaited moment arrived?”
This life of expectation is a strange tension of patient impatience. Ironically, this oxymoron seems to be our reality. We long for the day when the very real pain, difficulty, and agony of bearing a child will be lifted from Stephanie’s body and exchanged for the beauty of our little baby. This pregnancy, in particular, has been extremely trying and exhausting for Stephanie. Yes, we know it will be worth it in the end. Yet this only heightens our desire for the end to come. So we rather impatiently wait with expectation for the day which will mark an end and a new beginning. This expectation has often consumed our attention, hopes, and desires.
My intense longing (and Stephanie’s groaning) for Everlynn’s arrival is repeated in every prayer. Our lives have changed to conform to this constant hope. Our bags are packed for the hospital (and remain a rather comical tripping hazard in the hallway). Every time we leave the house we fill the car with extra clothes, pillows, bottled supplements, organic lollipops, diapers, and an extra car seat – with the hope that our expectation will become reality. We live in persistent hope…
The Real NEW
Yesterday, as I looked out across our soggy, rainy backyard through our picture-glass window, a thought rose to the surface of my mind: am I living in expectation for the Day when the End will mark the beginning of the New? Does the very real pain, suffering, and groaning of this life and world heighten my desire for the end to come? Do I have an unquenchable longing for Christ’s return when He will make all things new (Rev 21:5)? Does He consume my thoughts and find constant mention in my conversations? Do I wake up in the morning with the burgeoning question on my mind: “Will today be the day?”
This expectation consumed and controlled the life of the apostle Paul:
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” (Romans 8:18-25)
An Even Greater Expectation
Conviction ran deep across my heart as I watched cold rain drops fall on our brown, frost-bitten grass. Has the expectation of Christ’s return and the hope of the new heavens and earth changed the way I live? Has my life changed to conform to this constant hope? As great and wonderful as our expectation for Everlynn’s arrival may be, how much greater should my longing be for Christ at His return?
Living in expectation of the End will change how we live in the Present. There will be a day when all things will be made NEW. The earth will be remade. We will be glorified in the same manner as Christ’s resurrection. Decay, depression, and disobedience will be no more. The pain and suffering of this life will be lifted and gloriously exchanged for the beauty of Christ’s presence, when we shall see Him face to face.
So we expectantly wait…with patience.
In Christ Alone,
Michael J. Breznau
[With fond memories one week before our little Everlynn’s 1st Birthday… Original date of writing: January 17, 2012]
P.S. This short article is dedicated to our lovely daughter Everlynn, and to a teacher who brought me to understand and behold the hope of the resurrection and its present implications in my life: Dr. Glenn Kreider.