Just two weeks ago, I had no idea what a gift it was to spend time chatting with friends after church. My kids often get annoyed with me when the church building empties and I’m still talking. They line up in height order in front of each other in what they call the “kid totem pole”. The oldest rests his chin on the head of the middle child, who rests his chin on the head of the youngest, and they give me puppy-dog eyes that beg me for lunch. It’s one of the many small pleasures I’m missing right now.
We’re all grieving the loss of normal life and routine, and our grief is appropriate. So many earthly pleasures have been taken away in such a short time—big ones like spring break trips and little ones like annoying the kids by talking too long after church. And yet, the Lord is at work. All the good right in front of us can often distract us from the ultimate good that can only be found in the Lord. When so much of life is stripped away, we see the treasure of Christ more clearly.
“Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge. I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you . . . You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness is joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Psalm 16:1-2, 11)
The happiness that the world offers can be taken away in days or even minutes. Many of these pleasures are good gifts—sharing a meal with a group of loved ones, learning in a classroom, singing a hymn with our church family, trying to find a table in a crowded coffee shop to catch up with a friend.
But in the Lord, we find the fullness of joy and pleasures that last forever. He is the source of all the good things we have, and He is our refuge when so many good things have been taken away. Nothing can separate us from the goodness of His great love for us in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:38-39)
And by the way, somebody should warn my kids to pack a sandwich when we go back to having church services. One day when we’re there together again, I just might never leave.
No matter what you face this week, your greatest joy can be found in the goodness of God.
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