I knew that I’d be away for over a week with teenagers in San Diego. I knew my wife would be at home, going about the normal routines of raising 3 very young girls. Changing diapers, band-aiding boo boos, giving time outs, twisting arms for naptime, etc. So like any husband, I tried to assuage my guilt, and speak her love language at the same time by ordering a little something special to arrive while I was away.
I ordered it a week or so before leaving for my trip. It was difficult to contain my excitement. I knew how much she’d love it, and how much of a surprised it’d be for her. I didn’t know exactly what hour it would come, but I knew the day, and knew it was highly likely she’d be there when it arrived.
Every day that date drew closer, I got more excited. I wanted to blurt it out in the middle of conversation. Here’s how it could have gone:
Wife: So, how did work go today?
Me: I ordered you a gift a few days ago that will arrive while I’m in San Diego and you’re going to love it!!!
Wife: Aww (gives me a big wet kiss)
But I never told her. I kept it secret, and as I left for my trip, took my excitement with me. Even in the midst of crazy times and teenagers spent on the beach in San Diego, I found myself spontaneously struck with the anticipation on her behalf of this gift of love that she’d be surprised by. It made me smile.
And no, it wasn’t ridiculously expensive. But it was a gift of Love.
I began to feel God using all of this to speak to my own heart. As if He was revealing something important about the giddy anticipation He experiences in waiting for all things to be made new, and to complete fully the work He began in Jesus Christ. Like He knows exactly what is coming, and in that knowing His Joy is a smile wider than the ocean shore.
But He couldn’t wait quietly. He’s told us about what is to come, so that we can join in the excitement, and the active anticipation. It brings to mind the image of Homer Simpson, doing his “oh boy oh boy oh boy” dance. The kind of excitement I felt at knowing what my wife was going to receive, was not even a sliver of the full experience God currently enjoys, knowing the complete picture of what is ahead for us.
We get a peek at some of that, in the words and life of Jesus Christ. The tears of joy when He and His followers spread the Good News of the Kingdom that is, and is to come. The tears of pain when he laments there will be some who walk away from what is coming. The tears of Love for His children, and His creation…that will be made new…
May we join in God’s Joy-filled wait even now…