Friday, January 14, 2011

Something Worth Waiting For

When I was a child, my father had this terrible habit of teasing about my Christmas present, usually beginning December 1st. He’d say with twinkle in his eye and a slight smile, “I know what you’re getting for Christmas and ohhhhhh….is it gooood????!!!!“ or “It’s better than everything you asked for on your list. You're going to love it!” and “You’re never going to guess what it is but I’ve seen it and you are going to go nuts when you open it.” For those twenty-five days, year after year, it was torture hearing him taunt me about the incredible gift to come and how it’s better than anything I’d put on my Christmas wish list.

Those three and half weeks were filled with activity as we prepared for the big day. As a child, I poured my creativity and love into making gifts for my parents, brothers, and grandparents. As Christmas day approached, I became more and more excited, but not for the reason you may think. That big gift was ever present on my mind for sure, but as each day slipped by, I became increasingly excited about how happy my parents, my brothers, and grandparents would be when they saw the gift I made for each of them with all the love my child-sized heart could engender. So excited in fact that every year on Christmas Eve I literally became breathless with anticipation as my over-emotional state would trigger an asthma attack.

This is the memory that came to mind recently as I was reading about all of creation waiting in eager expectation of the future glory that we as God’s children look forward to when Christ returns. (Romans 8:18-27) The Spirit is within me whispering to my heart, “It’s better than anything you could ask for. I’ve seen it and you are going to love it!” Revelation 21 tells us that God will bring a new existence to us – one where he is among us as he once was in the Garden. All barriers and veils that remain between us will be gone and we will be able to see and hear and worship him fully and that experience will be better than anything we can imagine. It’s with this hope of what we have not seen and do not yet have that we endure through this time of preparation. The Spirit is creating in me a heart capable of loving God completely on that day of glory through the trials of the present. He is teaching me to love others so that I may know how to love my Lord. He gives me the opportunity to reach out in his love so that I may understand more fully the love he has for me. When that day of glory comes, I will have my gift – my heart – ready to give to him in breathless anticipation of the joy it will bring to him, my Lord, my Savior, and my God. That’s something worth waiting for!

About the pictures:
North Park (May 2010)

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