The best five words spoken in February are not:
Ground Hogs taste like chicken!
A Valentine’s card is enough
I made the Dean’s List
President’s Day Sale at Cabella’s
Chipotle will soon be open
All those are great words to hear but they are not as awesome as these five February words:
Pitchers and Catchers report today!
That means spring training can’t be far behind. (Start humming: “Take me out to the Ballgame”). The smell of hot dogs and cracker jack (does cracker jack smell?) will soon be in the air. The sun will be warmer; the days brighter and my dreams of the Tigers winning their first World Series since Reagan administration will captivate my imagination.
The words “Pitchers and Catchers report today” mean hope. There is hope that the snow will soon be gone and hope that my car thermometer will not read “0” like it did this morning. Hope is a wonderful thing!
Of course, for we believers our hope is much deeper than an improved bullpen (although I am excited that the Tigers relief pitchers might actually be able to throw the baseball over the plate). Paul in Romans 12:12 wrote, “Be joyful in hope.” I think that means that we believers should have giddy bit of anticipation as we wait upon the Lord. It’s like when you know the surprise gift a friend is about to receive; and you know they are going to love it; and yet it’s a surprise. The good news is almost bursting inside of you. You want to blurt out the secret; but you don’t. Instead you have a smile, deep within you because you know your loved one will be so happy when they open the gift. It’s a joyful hope.
We believers have a joyful hope. God is up to something in this old world. He has not forgotten us. He has not abandoned us. He is creating and making all things new. Like the news of a surprise gift, this joyful hope we have brings a deep down satisfaction that God is on the cusp of doing something so amazing and exciting. But unlike the surprise gift of a friend, you don’t have to keep this news secret. Tell it. Let the cat out of the bag. Let the world know: We have a joyful hope that God is alive and He is at work! His creative, redemptive and powerful love is about to be unleashed! That’s even better news than “Pitchers and Catchers report today!” (Although I am pretty excited about that news too! Go Tigers!)