She jumped into the car with unbridled enthusiasm. Her excitement just could not be contained. Her day had been great. Wonderful! Awesome! On this particular day, her second grade class had been given a glimpse of what it will be like to be third grade students next year. She was thrilled by the prospect. So much so that she continued in her happy little mood, even while telling me about the boy who had hit her in the face. Nothing could deter her joy. Not even the bullies. She looked forward to the year ahead, when the bullies would no longer bother her. When she would not be the "new" kid. When school would finally feel like home. And everything would be made new.
New songs to sing.
New skills to learn.
New friends to make.
Her faith challenges me. She truly believes that things will be better next year. I pray they will. It's been a tough year, plugging through her first time in a school building. She has done so well, navigating all of the obstacles along the way. She has made huge academic strides. Unfortunately, she has also had to figure out how to cope with what it means to struggle. Those kids around her haven't been the kind, compassionate sort that I had hoped would surround her. Working her way into a group of children who have been together for 3-4 years has been difficult to say the least. But still she has faith in what will be.
This is the kind of faith I desire. Faith that overlooks the bumps in the road for the vision of what's to come. This world is not my home. My struggles pale in the light of an eternal inheritance. How I long to live with joy and passion that comes from knowing that, one day, things will be better.
One day, "He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)
One day, "The sons of those who afflicted you shall come bending low to you, and all who despised you shall bow down at your feet." (Isaiah 60:14)
One day, "The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad; the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus; it shall blossom abundantly and rejoice with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the Lord, the majesty of our God. Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who have an anxious heart, 'Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you.' Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy. For waters break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert; the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water; in the haunt of jackals, where they lie down, the grass shall become reeds and rushes. And a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Way of Holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it. It shall belong to those who walk on the way; even if they are fools, they shall not go astray. No lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it; they shall not be found there, but the redeemed shall walk there. And the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away." (Isaiah 35)
One glorious day, all my enemies will be put to rest. Pain, doubt, fear and insecurity will fall away. I will no longer feel like a stranger in that place. I will finally be home. And everything will be made new!
New body with none of the aches and pains.
New songs to sing.
New city with a mansion prepared just for me.
New friends to make (Paul, Moses, Joseph, and Ruth!).
New schedule of constant worship before my King.
And when I think about all that is to come, nothing can deter my joy. Not even the bullies.