Further Up and Further In!

The kids are clean and asleep in bed.
The house is clean and ready to be shut down for the night.

The bags and Bibles are waiting by the front door.
The clothes are laid out waiting to be ironed and laid on the ends of beds.
The cooler is standing empty on the kitchen counter, waiting to be filled in the morning.

Tonight is Saturday.
Tomorrow is Sunday!
Our most favoritist day of the week!

Why is it our favorite day?
Because it is the Lord's Day!

As I was doing dishes tonight, I was thinking about Sunday.
Many moms get frustrated because their children only seem interested in going to church to see their friends.
Mine are no different.
Their favorite part of Sunday is getting to play all afternoon with their friends.
Is that wrong?
I don't believe God has regenerated their hearts yet, but even if He had, would that be wrong? I'm thinking . . . .

We as a family have been listening to the Focus on the Family Radio Drama of The Chronicles of Narnia. We read through them a few years back, and now have been enjoying "listening" to them all over again in a new way. I always cry at the parts where Aslan is speaking (it generates such longing in my heart!).
This past Wednesday was no exception, as we found ourselves driving around in the car listening to The Last Battle. The characters had all "gone through the door" and were in the real Narnia. They were traveling on together "further up and further in" laughing and talking about all that they were seeing and experiencing. Their fellowship was so sweet! The sounds were inviting as they laughed, teased, talked, squealed, delighted, etc. etc.
I thought of all of my friendships that I enjoy. I thought of all of my children enjoying their friends and realizing that part of heaven is being able to enjoy those friendships for eternity. Yes, Aslan was the best part of Narnia, and Jesus will be the center of heaven and the greatest treasure. But it's His presence and His love for me and His delight in me and His provision for me, etc. etc. that enables me so to delight and enjoy and cherish the friends that He puts in my life.
I love looking forward to the fellowship on Sundays. No, it doesn't meet all my needs. I sometimes leave lonely and discouraged. But that's because this isn't heaven yet. God is using my friendships to expose where He is still working in me to fit me for heaven to really love perfectly and to be perfectly loved.
I love Sundays and being able to hear the Word preached and applied to my life experiences. I love being able to worship in song around the Truth of all that God is and what He has done and is doing and will do. And then I love having the opportunity to go and walk out the truth that I've just heard and applied and sung about.
The worship of Jesus is undeniably tied to the people that make up His Body! And many of those I happen to be friends with.
How convenient!

So, I don't fret when my children look forward to playing with their friends more than sitting through the sermon. 'Cause I know that their friendships in this fallen world are going to be used to expose their weaknesses and their need for Jesus and then I'll have the privilege of pointing them to the gospel and to Jesus who has promised to supply all their needs and to be to them all that they will ever need or desire! And their love for their friends is a God-given gift. And I'm trusting Him to refine it to bring Him glory as He works in their hearts to make them like Christ. Right now,
it's just planting time.


PhotoPoet said…
Wonderful thinking. Beautifully put. The photo is gorgeous, too.

I look back on childhood days, and realize that I too looked forward to getting to see my friends "at church." But today is not all that different. Today I still look forward to being with my brothers and sisters, praising God, lifting Him up together, even as He is lifting us up together.

In the night, as my 94-year-old Mother was letting go of her earthly body, she opened her eyes and spoke one last time, "I'm beginning to see all my old friends," she said with a smile.

Ah... I can't wait to "have church" in Heaven, to see all my old friends. But most of all, as the songwriter said, "I want to see Jesus."

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