One of the greatest joys of raising kids – as I think any parent will tell you – is seeing your child experience something for the first time. The wonder, awe, and excitement they display – that glint in their eyes – makes so many sacrifices worth while.
Last week Melissa and I took Chloe to see Beauty and the Beast 3D at the theater. Now this was not the first time Chloe has been to a movie, but it was the first time she ever saw one in 3D. And even though she has been to movies before, she still gets the biggest kick out of going to the theater. But as I sat next to her, with her 3D glasses on and her Skittles in her lap I could just see the look on her face as she waited in anticipation for the movie to start.
It actually reminded me of our trip to the NC State Fair last fall. We took Chloe a couple of years ago, but she was too young to really remember it. But this year she got to ride the rides, experience the exhibits and animals, and enjoy all the food the fair has to offer. All day she was seeing stuff for the very first time; what was common place and expected for Melissa and I was something that Chloe had not only never seen, but in many cases never even imagined.
I wonder if that’s what Heaven will be like… Paul tells us in Ephesians that God is able to do more than we could ever “ask or imagine.” Let me just say that I can imagine a lot. But if Heaven is going to be even more than that I have this feeling I’ll be spending a lot of time in eternity saying, “WOW!!! I never even thought of that!” And God, who will be standing there beside me, will just smile as he looks down and sees what I’m experiencing. And then, just like the majesty and wonder of the movie theater led Chloe to say over and over “Thank you, Daddy, for taking me to see Beauty and the Beast,” in a similar way I’ll be forced to fall down and worship this amazing God who provides and cares for me.
Sometimes life is rough; sometimes bills don’t get paid on time (even though we try), and the car repairs end up being more than we have in savings, or the roof gets blown off the house the same week the washer and dryer decide they’re going to die, or someone gets sick and has to go into the hospital, or maybe you end up loosing a job. But at the end of the day we can have hope – not some blind “I hope this gets better”, but a quiet yet confident assurance that God is working in and through us, that he is providing for us.
Sometimes what God wants is for us to simply sit back and rest in his grace, knowing he will take care of us. And when we do that – when we trust and allow him to provide – then he gets to sit back and see our expression as we realize that he’s real. Why do we so often rob ourselves of the joy God wants to set before us by getting bogged down in worry? Why do we want to steal from God the joy he experiences as he watches us rest in him?
I’m not sure who enjoyed the movie more last week – my daughter or myself. What I can say with confidence is that I watched much more than a movie I’ve seen over and over. I got to see through my child’s eyes.
And you know what? It was good.