This weekend I finished all the trim painting in my hallway. There is officially no more blue painter’s tape in the hallway (which has been there since I moved in last August). Just the crisp white trim against the warm taupe walls. It is glorious.
Every time I look down the hallway a big smile spreads across my face. A few times I’ve even let out a celebratory squeal of delight. (And a wee bit of a happy dance.) Seriously! I have.
After one of those joyful outbursts, it hit me. I wouldn’t be near so happy if I hadn’t waited so long and worked so hard to finish that task.
And I gently heard God say, “Sarah, perhaps this is why I allow delay and struggle in your life. It is for the sake of the joy that I know awaits you on the other side.” Whoa.
Waiting and working bring joy. Who knew?!
So often while waiting or working in life we bemoan the delay and complain about the work. The delay is too long, too painful, too lonely. Joy is the last thing on our minds. The work is too hard, too much, too overwhelming. Again, joy is the last thing on our minds.
This is particularly true during difficult times (during the illness or loss of a loved one) or during transition times (adjusting to a new job, a new city or new friends) or conversion times (adjusting to a new Lord, a new way of life, a new heart). We can be frustrated by the wait and weighed down by the work required.
And yet our Lord knows, and indeed proves through his Resurrection, that there is great joy on the other side of our waiting and our working.
Today as we celebrate with joy Christ’s triumph over sin and death let us remember that he is in control! Our current lot is not a mistake. Whatever waiting and working we are engaged in is ordained by him. Not to torment us, but to draw us closer to him. And to bring us great joy through the wait and the work.
Go on. Look down the way past the current struggle, past the present delay. And let that smile spread. Perhaps even do a happy dance.
He is Risen! Let us rejoice!