Tomorrow night, at long last, college football returns. I love the NFL, but college football is just special—and this weekend boasts a great slate of games to kick off the 2012 campaign. On Friday night, Michigan State hosts Boise State in what should be a cracking game. Saturday night, two preseason top 10 teams, Alabama and Michigan, square off at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas, Texas. Monday night, two ACC teams square off in a rare early-season conference matchup. Of course, I will be watching the two teams from my home state of West Virginia, WVU and Marshall, square off to begin WVU’s inaugural season in the Big 12. To start the season with such great contests just makes me hope that the rest of the year can live up to week one! College football is here… finally! Anticipating the fun and excitement of college football, however, is dramatically different from the anticipation of the person who is worn out and worn down by the reversals and struggles of life. Sometimes, what they anticipate the hope that God is going to show up in the midst of those troubling and difficult circumstances. More than a dozen times in the psalms, the singer cries out of the despair of their hearts, “How long?” How long must I endure this? How long until I find rest? How long until God shows up? David certainly expressed this in Psalm 13:

How long, O LORD? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, Having sorrow in my heart daily? How long will my enemy be exalted over me? (Psalm 13:1-2)

How long? However long that wait of anticipation may be, David discovered that it is better endured with trust in your heart. In that very same psalm, he closed his song by affirming:

But I have trusted in Your mercy; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, Because He has dealt bountifully with me. (Psalm 13:5-6)

Why does he trust? Why does he anticipate? Because David has experienced God’s mercy. Why does he sing? Because God has blessed him richly. In seasons of the anticipation of waiting, we can take heart. Our God, who is ever faithful, will always be right on time.   Bill Crowder, Sports Spectrum Chaplain