By Jeffrey West, CCC Ruling Elder
Here are my top three moments of last week.
1. Sitting alone in my office watching a video of kids at the summer camp that my seven year old will attend this summer.
2. Watching both of my kids play in the snow with their friends.
3. Having both kids ask me to play in the snow, read to them or sit with them to watch a movie.
You can probably guess why numbers two and three would bring a parent warm feelings, even if you don't have kids. Watching your children do what God has made them to do. Enjoying creation and relationship. The excitement that comes with a day off of school. Having them want to be with you, their parent, in those moments of fun and of quiet. Surely God feels this way when he sees us doing what we are made to do. When we are reflecting his creativity and work ethic; and when we draw near to him in the moments that we are enjoying.
But my number one experience of joy was when I thought about something that my son would experience in the future, that I knew he would love. This boy is obsessed with this camp, where we spent a father/son weekend this past summer, and he is eager to get back there for a week this year. He thinks it may be the greatest place on earth and that nothing could be better than shooting BB guns and bows and arrows, fishing, climbing, hiking, sleeping outside and riding a zip line. As I thought about him experiencing these things, it made me beam.
My only explanation for this is that our Heavenly Father must do the same thing as he looks forward to spending eternity with us, his children. He knows how much we are going to love it. Romans 8 reminds us of the future that God has in store for us, and that nothing can come between us and its fruition. Revelation 21 says it is a future in a new heavens and new earth spent doing the things we were designed to do but without the taint of sin. There, pure joy will be experienced while in the presence of our Father. This is a glimpse of our Heavenly Father’s heart, that he wants to share a bright and perfect future with us, his children. Now that's something to get excited about.
1 John 3:1 - Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!