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Wonderful Joy Ahead

Hooray for the end of the Chronicles books! Hooray for the end of exile! (or at least we're getting there)

Forget for a second that what I'm about to say is very dramatic and definitely taking stuff out of context...but I feel this "leaving exile" portion of the Scriptures is really paralleling my life right now. I feel like I'm edging out of my little season of depression...I'm choosing healthier ways to decompress after work, I'm choosing to rest and not work when I can, I finished "Jane the Virgin" so I'm not caught up in that binge anymore, I feel like I'm having a healthier attitude...I don't know, we'll see! I just feel lighter. Like I'm leaving exile...haha...Oh the drama!

I haven't felt very inspired by what I'm reading in the Bible for a while, to be honest. It probably was the depression. But for the first time in a while today I found myself highlighting Scriptures and even feeling eager to blog about what I was reading. And not a minute too soon because with only 43 days left I'd really like to finish this project strong. Because it really has made me stronger.

1 Corinthians 2:6-3:4

"'What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived'--the things God has prepared for those who love Him."

I recently searched for Bible verses to go with bridal showers and I was disappointed to see 1 Peter 1:6 listed..."so be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead."

This verse in 1 Peter is not about the wonderful joy ahead in marriage, though marriage is of course a very joyful thing! But Peter is speaking of something tremendously more joyful, fulfilling, and WONDERFUL. He is not talking about the stuff we can get here on this earth, and make no mistake, neither is Paul.

This verse is 1 Corinthians talks about something so much more joyful, fulfilling, and wonderful we literally cannot imagine it. We can't. We can try..like the song "I can only imagine." We can try to imagine but it is the only thing we can do. Because God's plans for us are so other-worldly, so not-our-dimension-dimensional, so categorically beyond us. It's bigger than maybe getting a dream job, or getting married one day, or having a baby one day, it's bigger than every day wants and hopes... it is THE hope we don't know how to hope for except to hold onto the fact that this tremendous and unknowable hope is ours.

To make these verse about anything else is to make an idol for ourselves. I said it! I'm not passing judgement on whoever it was that made 1 Peter 1:6 a cute poster for a bridal shower...that would be silly and trite. I'm passing judgment on myself. Because how many times have I looked to earthly goals and thought "if I had this my life would be better." How many times have I thought of God as the one who blesses rather than knowing God is the blessing Himself?

The verse in 1 Corinthians says it all..."for those who love Him."

If we love Him we know that He is the whole thing. He is the thing we set our minds, hearts, souls, and bodies by. He is the whole thing. To love Him is to want more and more of Him, Him, Him. To love Him is to know that the only thing that could ever bring us joy, fulfillment, or wonder is to be with Him. To love Him is to trust that even though we cannot imagine what He has planned for us it is the thing our souls ache for.

He is the whole thing. Whatever earthly wants or hopes we have are important to Him...He blesses us with those things too sometimes...but He doesn't guarentee them to us...but we shouldn't feel sorry about that...He doesn't guarentee them to us because "for those who love Hm" He's already guartenteed the true desire in our hearts.

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