Living in Expectation

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Let your heavenly Father help you to live in the spirit of hope each day of the year.

For I live in eager expectation and hope .... —Philippians 1:20 (tlb)

Picking up a few last-minute Christmas things in a discount store, I noticed a rack of dog toys. Our dog has a lot of toys and such items don’t usually tempt me, but the huge, plastic stockings were filled with sturdy, durable toys. Caught up in the Christmas spirit, I tossed one into my cart. Sure enough, our dog loved the toys.

I began to think about dogs waiting to be adopted and how much they’d enjoy the treats. There was a new animal shelter just minutes from us. Still, twelve dollars for each stocking was a lot. I’d need to buy quite a few stockings.

During Christmas, the idea remained lodged stubbornly in my mind. I imagined the lonely dogs playing with the toys, tails wagging. A couple of days after Christmas, I began to think, What if those stockings have been drastically reduced, since they are holiday items? I played a game with myself each time I drove by the store. How much would they need to be reduced for me to get them? I answered myself: Um, down to two dollars each.

Three days after Christmas, my car seemed to have a mind of its own. It took a right, and I found a parking place near the front door of the discount store. However, my heart fell when I couldn’t locate the doggie stockings. They were large, too, about two feet tall. I asked a clerk if they were sold out. “No, the manager just marked them down a few minutes ago.”

I literally ran through the store to where she’d directed me. There they were. Twelve of them. Marked down to two dollars each! I bought every one and hurried to the shelter.

Father, help me to live in a spirit of hope each day of the year. —Marion Bond West

Digging Deeper: Ps 39:7

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