As I write this, I'm sitting outside, enjoying the fresh coolness of this beautiful, breezy day. Earlier the world was brilliant with sunshine-- the pink flowers on a nearby shrub shone brightly and all the leaves overhead danced in the sparkling light. The sun is low enough now that most of the yard is in shade, but the tops of the trees are still lit up, and there's a last bit of sun on the oranges and the peach blossoms.
I love days like this.
So I've been sitting out here as much of the afternoon as I could, reveling in the combination of warm sun and cool breeze, just soaking it up. It's not just the weather, either. The last day or two I've been filled with renewed wonder at the goodness and love of God, and today I've been marveling in the mercy and kindness that He has demonstrated in my life.
God is always gracious and merciful, but I'm not always aware of it like I am at this moment. Today, though, God has allowed me to catch a glimpse of His bounty, and He has filled my heart with joy and thanksgiving. So I revel and delight in this gift of a day that He's given me.
Interestingly enough, I've been reading Job lately. Job wasn't exactly feeling God's kindness. Instead, he was trying to make sense of the immense tragedies that God had sovereignly placed in his life. Ultimately, God called him to trust in God's character, instead of his ability to comprehend the meaning of his suffering. We, however, have more than this. We can follow in the footsteps of Christ, who suffered more than we ever will, and who promises victory on the other side of suffering. Mark Dever, in his Message of the Old Testament, says this:
"Finally, we can trust God because, as Job himself said, 'I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth' (Job 19:25). How would Job's Redeemer redeem? By living more righteously and perfectly than Job ever could, and by taking upon himself more suffering than Job ever knew. Job's patience amid suffering, you see, was finally meant to point to the genuinely perfect righteousness and wholly undeserved suffering of Jesus Christ on the cross. Through his death on the cross and his resurrection on the third day, Christ would defeat the powers of sin and death. God then promises to forgive everyone who repents of their sins and trusts in Christ. And they, too, along with Job, will stand with their Redeemer in the end."
So for those who have been redeemed by Christ, part of our reason for hope is the knowledge that beyond our suffering, beyond the brief time we have in this life, there is a glorious future awaiting us, when we shall see our Redeemer face to face and spend all eternity worshiping, serving, and adoring him. Then will our joy be made perfect.
The most beautiful day on earth cannot compare with this--even now, the last vestige of sunshine is fading from the tops of the trees, and it's almost too chilly to sit comfortably out here-- but such days can serve as a reminder and a foretaste of what is to come, thus increasing our anticipation of that one glorious day.