We collected a bucket of those same leaves the other day and I taught the kids how to do "rubs" of the leaves. They laid the leaves out underneath a piece of paper and as they rubbed the side of the crayon over the paper, the image of the leaf would appear. The kids were amused, but I couldn't help but find that the images on the paper were so unsatisfying in comparison to the richness of color that was hidden underneath.
What an analogy of what the Lord has been impressing on my own heart. His creation, in all of it's brilliance is just a glimmer, a foretaste of the goodness that awaits us in Eternity when we meet with Jesus. The sin and sickness and diapers and laundry and dishes and arguments all muddle that glorious picture of what we will one day behold.
I am NOT an optimist, unlike my wonderful husband. Though I am certainly not a pessimist, I lean toward realism. And if realism is mounds of laundry and whining kids, and bills that can't be paid, that is what I see. But what if for a moment, I saw life as it really is- if I saw it as a true realist. Realizing that all that is good in this world- the euphoric autumn days, the laughter of my children, harmony with my husband, the voice of a good friend, peppermint mocha coffee creamer, butterfingers and filet mignon, is just a glimpse of what is to come?
It is easy to get mangled in the atrocities of this world, but God's word tells us to do otherwise:
Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. Colossians 3:1-4 (emphasis added)
I will be the first to admit that this exhortation given by Paul is a challenge. A constant challenge which labors against the hours that creep by as the kids are hungry, the mosquitoes are biting, and my nerves are shot. As the children fight over that one toy that truly they don't care about and the clothes in the washer stink of mildew, I find it challenging to set my mind on the things above.
For most of my life as a Christian, I haven't really a clue what those things are, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. I have felt almost stifled by this exhortation because it seemed so vague. I am learning to remove the blindfold and discover what the Lord has desired for me to set my mind on.
Imagine my delight when I picked up this book at the local library and started to unpeel the treasure that scripture has revealed about that place. That place that we are to seek and set our minds on.
There will be more from me on this. I assure you, it is transforming my life. I am taking note of the little things that grab my heart and see them as a glimpse of the goodness to come. A daddy with his son on his shoulders. A snuggle between sisters. Moments of revelation in a five year old. A simple dinner that fills the stomach and comforts the chaos. The promises in His word. The smell of a freshly bathed baby. A good night's sleep. The nostalgia that comes with a song. Laughing with my husband.
I want to challenge you to do the same. Every time that something brings you joy and delight the next few days, take note of it- a crayon rub impression of all that awaits you in the Heavenly realms.