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  • Writer's pictureBarbara Byers

Anticipation


Theologians use a term called “prevenient love” as a characteristic of God’s heart. “Pre” means “before” so his love is “occurring or coming in advance of another thing.” In advance of our need for his forgiveness, his help, his wisdom, his guidance. He has it all waiting ahead of us. He has the answer before we have the need. What a comfort to know this about him. His love is out ahead of us, beckoning with firmness, tenderly waiting for us to need him, and to receive him. And he invites us to trust that he has a redemptive response for everything we need.


Prevenient also means “producing a sense of anticipation.” Our anticipation and expectation, that the Lord will meet us in all the ways we need, should be great. We long to experience His goodness! We long to know the reality of Psalm 23:6, surely his goodness and mercy will follow us all our days. And we can know and experience this as we lean in with trust and great confidence that he hears and answers our prayers. His eye is on us for good (Ps. 32:8).


This is why we can also invite the Lord to examine and test us -- because his love is prevenient. When we ask him to look in the dark and muddy places, the fractured places, our confidence is that his love is already ours, already waiting to heal, make whole, and bring order to the disordered places. Because we are convinced of his love, we can desire more and more the truth that sets us free. We don’t have to fear vulnerability or the shame of exposure, for his way is to bring light that heals. Resting in his love, freedom is ours.

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