Sunday, July 28, 2013

The county fair and eternal joy

Today was the last day of our county fair.  We went there after church and, to tell the truth, it wasn’t the kind of place I was anticipating that God would reveal Himself.  But He did, in a surprising and delightful way.

This afternoon a person could get a pass and have unlimited rides at the fair midway.  We got a pass for our daughter and watched her go from ride to ride to ride.  There were a few that she thought would be too much for her to handle, and a few that she rode more than once.  There was one ride that she rode five times in a row.

After those five rides we persuaded her to take a break so that we could go have a snack and sit a while, before returning to ride some more.  And when we went back to the midway she went straight to that one particular ride and rode it at least ten more times, all in a row. 

It wasn’t a very busy ride and as soon as she got off she ran around to the start and got on again.  She was by herself but had no hesitation about asking people if she could sit with them, and as we watched her they rarely said ‘no.’ 

She sat with boys, girls, teenagers, grown-ups.  It didn’t matter to her.  She put her arms in the air as the ride swung back-and-forth, screeching to her heart’s content.  And when it finished she got off, ran around to the front and got back on, enthusiastically riding another time.

As she rode, again and again, I saw unending delight in her face.  It just kept going and going.  And as I noticed that delight I had a glimpse of the kind of joy that awaits all Christians in our eternal home in heaven.

In heaven there will be joy that is full and complete, in ways that we can’t fully grasp in this life.  It will be a joy that will be unending and always delightful.  It will touch our deepest places.  Every recess of every wounded heart will know healing.  

Our joy won’t be because of what we will be doing, but the source of our joy will be because of the one who has called us to heaven and with whom we will dwell forever, Christ Jesus, our faithful Lord and Savior.

In Revelation 7:17 John writes,

“For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

The image that John gives here is but one glimpse of the joy of heaven.  I count myself blessed that my wife and I were able to see an image of that kind of joy in our daughter today.  An image that points to the unending, eternal joy to be known in Christ Jesus.

Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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