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Bottling Joy

My first born is now 18 months old and my second is due to arrive in a couple of months. It has been both a wonderful, and strange, experience so far.

I often tell people that it's as though there was some remote part of me that was locked away in some unknown mysterious dungeon, where no key could be found to unlock the door. Then my son was born into the world, and all of a sudden this part of me burst forth into existence with no prompting, no warning, no alarm or sirens ... just uncontrollable sobbing in the delivery room. (I'm hoping that doesn't happen again with the second one ... it was a little embarrassing as I was the only male in the room, and the only one crying).

When my son laughs as we get into our routine tickle fights in the evening before he goes to bed, my elation and joy soar amongst the clouds. At one point in my life I literally could not envision or even imagine such a reality (Eph 3:20). I find myself wishing I could bottle his laugh and pure, unadulterated joy in a bottle, so I could uncork it and experience it over and over again whenever life has it's way of beating me upside the head with depressive notions.

Consequently I also have felt a strong, somewhat unexpected, sense of wrath and fury when it comes to my child. To protect him; his innocence, his purity ... to pounce on another child whenever they accidentally knock down my sack of preciousness in the Chick-fil-a play area. All of a sudden I want to do violence to another 2 year old! Where the heck does that even come from!?

The only answer I am able to come up with is this now unlocked part of my heart has been placed there long ago by my own heavenly father. A heavenly father who desires to give me good gifts (Mat 7:11) as well as peace and joy beyond comprehension (Phl 4:7). A heavenly father who's own wrath and justice are stirred against evil and injustice (Rom 1:18; Rev 19:15). And this heavenly father of mine has made me in his own image (Gen 1). I wonder how God felt as his own son's life was pursued by king Herod, and every boy under the age of two were slaughtered (Mat 2)? What if that had been my two year old boy? My heart aches, and my fury is aroused at even such an idea ... much less a reality.

But John reveals his final revelation in the Scriptures, that there will be no tears, no pain, no sorrow or suffering, but only one great and endless day of joy and fellowship, when we are made complete and fully reconciled to our heavenly Father (Rev 21). Where the outpouring of wrath because of injustice will no longer be needed, when children will not be mean to one another any longer, where people will no longer use and manipulate one another for their own benefit, but where humanity is made whole and un-fragmented in harmony once again ... in the image of our heavenly Father.


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