Finding Joy

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“Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressive and glorious joy.” 1 Peter 1:8 NIV

This past weekend I watched as my daughter and son-in-law officially started their marriage. I wrote last week about walking her down the aisle and what I would say. It turns out it was simple, “Her mom and dad, sister and brother, the whole gang.” The life they will weave together will be a spectacular thing to watch.

The entire day was about as perfect as it could get. Except it was HOT. In an area surrounded by big trees, it turns out that at 2:00 PM, the sun was directly overhead. Some people moved over to the trees for shelter, but it was pretty intense in the chairs. Did I mention I was in a black tuxedo?

I will remember many things about the day. Among them, how spectacular Aly looked. Stunning is not a good enough word. We had a first look before the ceremony. What I turned around to see was my little girl, the Nimrod, looking like someone’s dream. Logan was not in at that moment. His first look was while I was walking next to her. It was special. He has an appreciation for life that is beyond his years.

That entire day was a milestone for us. My family has been through the lowest of lows. As spectacular as I have seen Aly become, Jordyn was too. Losing her and the struggles that cause them has been challenging. But leading up to the wedding, I realized that we were in a streak of probably the most extended amount of time where we felt joy, had zero worries, and allowed nothing to come into view that did not celebrate. We were both asked numerous times if we were just ready to get it over. No! We enjoyed every second. My question is this: why don’t we do that more often?

The heat we felt that day was intense. But it was weak compared to the source. The difference in the measure is unimaginable. We can feel the sun’s temperature, which is around 27 million degrees (I looked it up), but our mind has no way of grasping it. From freezing to boiling, we can handle it. But the full spectrum of what is possible – too big to relate.

What my entire family has felt these past few weeks has been uninterrupted joy too big to explain. It is the most I have felt in my lifetime. Perspective is a beautiful thing. But, unfortunately, I have spent too many days balancing what I think of as reality without remembering that I cannot comprehend the actual source of everything good in my life: God. Finding joy in life with all things are a blessing from God.

He has an even bigger supply than either you or I can imagine. In the last few weeks, I have been able to cast off fear, worry, obligation, time, money, work, details, self-consciousness, and everything else that was neutral or negative. I realized that I have seen my family go full circle, from the lowest to the highest of highs.

What we have waiting for an eternity, we cannot yet see. We can imagine, but our minds are not enough to comprehend the hand of the One who made us. If I relate to heaven in that context, it changes how I dream. I can move from trying to figure out the answer to many unanswerable issues to the anticipation of perfection. I cannot reach it or create it here other than in glimpses. But all of the time I spend trying to develop it here can be the real distraction from seeing that it already exists. I have also realized this week that the highest of highs feel much sweeter because we have tasted the lowest of low. I have been reminded that it would become ordinary if we had perfection here. I would not search for it so ironically; I would not find it if that were the case. I would only come to expect it. I would not thank God for it enough. What we saw this last week, I will praise Him for the rest of my life.

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