Expectancy: noun 1. The act, action or state of expecting something.
This is such an unsatisfying definition. I define expectancy as a kind of breathless anticipation of something to come. A sit-on-the-edge-of-your-seat feeling because you know something special is on the horizon but you don’t know what it is… yet.
For me, expectancy is spiritual. It is that wondering anticipation every single day because today I know that I will get to see God at work. I don’t know how but I know… because I know He is. It is practicing the presence of God.
Sometimes the feeling is stronger than other times. God is up to something amazing. I know it is coming but I don’t know when and I am always willing to wait for it.
One Thursday, three weeks ago, I awoke with a very strong sense of expectancy… God was going to do something. It was not really surprising given the fact that we had just experienced a miracle that was bringing God A LOT of glory.
The Sunday before, Ron and I experienced the trauma of a serious bus accident with twenty other people from our home church, sixteen of them children. We were on our way to camp when the careless driver of a car caused the overturning of our bus. It was a miracle that not one of us was hospitalized that night. We knew God had protected us.
For the next week Ron and I were not able to do much of anything other than sit in the living room with our family, sleeping and talking. The kids sat there with us most of the time. I think they were just enjoying the fact that we were alive, even if we were asleep!
What does butter have to do with any of this? Well, there was none in the refrigerator. Breakfast time came and with it, no butter for toast. We had not stocked up on groceries before we left for camp and so we were out of butter. It’s just one of those silly things you miss when you don’t have it but neither Ron nor I were well enough to drive to the store for butter.
When you know that your life has just been miraculously spared, what is butter in the eternal scope of things?
Our phone rang off the hook for days, our loving church family calling to make sure we were okay and not in need of anything. Every day we joked together that the next time someone called, we were going to tell them we needed butter, yet every time someone called we’d hang up without the guts to say it. Had I a list of items needed, I might have given it but we were alive… and all we needed was butter. Neither of us could say it.
We ate delicious meals every evening provided by the ladies in my Sunday School class and other friends. They brought us lasagna, pot roast, chili mac, pizza, some really yummy meat loaf, homemade macaroni and cheese, and cheesy potatoes. Those ladies are some good cooks! We laughed that still we had no butter.
On Thursday evening, the day of my strong sense that God was going to do something, it was Miss Bobbie’s turn to bring us supper. I let her in the door and led her to my kitchen where she unpacked our meal. First she pulled out a pot of chili, then a salad, and a pie, then a loaf of French bread…
…………….. a little tub of Land O’ Lakes whipped butter!
I could hardly contain myself as I let Miss Bobbie out the door and then went to the family room where my family sat waiting for me to tell them what was for supper. “Guess what Miss Bobbie brought us??? She brought us BUTTER!!!” and we laughed together in amazement.
You know that feeling of expectancy I had had that day? It wasn’t until the next day that I realized it was gone. I have seen God do some pretty cool things but it was a stretch for even me to believe that that strong sense of expectancy I had the entire day before was about butter! But try as I might, I could not bring it back and so I knew that the butter was a little gift of love from a Heavenly Father who absolutely amazes me.
Yesterday I decided to share my butter story with my Sunday School class. I so want to encourage them with my testimony of God’s intimate love and grace but I have to admit it took some courage to tell it, as it does now. With the telling I am letting you, my few blog readers, into a little piece of my heart. The piece which believes in an extremely personal God… A Heavenly Father who loves my family so intimately that He would even send us a little tub of butter. The piece of my heart which knows that perhaps my expectancy sounds strange.
In the telling, the story became more amazing. Miss Bobbie said wonderingly, “I don’t even remember buying you butter! I don’t even use it and my husband uses the little packets like from restaurants. Why would I buy butter?! It HAD to be God!” I assured her that, “Yes, Miss Bobbie, I stood right beside you at the counter as you pulled it out of the bag and you said, “And here is butter for your bread.”
Butter??! What is butter?!
This I know to the depths of my soul… it is not about butter. It’s about the most wonderful Father EVER who knows in the deepest way of knowing, who loves me beyond anything I can EVER imagine and who deserves ALL my praise and ALL my love… because of who He is. Not because we needed butter.
But because of Who He is.