Christmas mornings as a kid, I woke up very early, which thrilled my parents. Many times I got up so early that I was sent back to bed for another hour so that my parents could get a little sleep. Just trying to stay in the bed when your heart was racing in anticipation of what could be under the Christmas tree was a task too great for this youngster. Several times I would sneak into the living room with the lights off just to see if I could make out any of the gifts Santa had left unwrapped (like he sometimes did at my house). In the low light I could see faint outlines of what I thought was the gift I had “always wanted.” Then my heart would race even faster as I pictured myself riding the new Big Wheel, pogo stick, moon shoes or shooting my bow and arrow straight into the enemy target.
But the year I thought it could be that bike with the cool “monkey hanger” handle bars and real simulated black leather tassels, a “chopper” like front fork, and a “banana seat,” I almost couldn’t restrain myself. I even caught myself making “udn, udn” noises out loud as if the bike was motorized, but then I looked around in embarrassment to make sure I hadn’t woken anyone else up. The anticipation had me standing on my toes peeking over the couch, straining my eyes to see if it really was that bike.
The Apostle Paul says that all creation is doing that very same thing; straining to see which of us earth dwelling humans are really God’s children. The dim shadows of what I thought were the handle bars of my dream bike could have actually been just Christmas tree branches. In the world before Jesus returns, creation also can’t distinguish between real believers and those who just say they are believers in Jesus. When the “Light of the world”(Jn. 8:12) comes on to Earth again, everyone will be revealed for who they are and creation will celebrate the revelation of God’s children.
Romans 8:19 (HCSB) For the creation eagerly waits with anticipation for God’s sons to be revealed.
John MacArthur’s commentary says, the Greek word for “anticipation” means anxious longing and “is an especially vivid word that literally refers to watching with outstretched head, and suggests standing on tiptoes with the eyes looking ahead with intent expectancy. The…idea (suggests) fixed absorption and concentration on that which is anticipated. The creation is standing on tiptoes, as it were, as it waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God.”
This Christmas I want to encourage you to watch and listen with intent expectancy for ways God asks you to reveal His only begotten Son to someone; so that they can be revealed as children of God when Light comes on the scene again.
The year I got that bike, I celebrated. I rode that bike all the time. Cold weather, warm weather, across the driveway, down the street, by myself, with my friends, with no hands, with no feet, on one wheel, on no wheels (jumping on a homemade ramp)…I enjoyed that bike for many years. When Jesus returns, we have an eternity of celebrating to do. Make sure you and your friends are ready.