The past two nights at my house have been out of the norm to say the least. I was up late. REALLY late. Not to watch the NBA finals. Not to do something super pastoral like read through the entire New Testament in two days. Not to work on anything for church.
I was building a swing set.
This isn’t just any swing set. It is a swingset that came in what seemed like thousands of pieces. It’s a swingset that took more than 15 hours to put together, much of it on my own, getting eaten alive by mosquitoes under the flood light in our back yard. It’s a swing set that has muscles aching in my body that I didn’t even know existed. And when I went to bed at 2:30 a.m. last night, I wasn’t worried about sleeping in or even getting a good night’s rest. I just couldn’t wait for my daughter to wake up!
I couldn’t wait to tell her I had a huge surprise waiting in the back yard. I couldn’t wait to see her face light up. I couldn’t wait to spend time with her playing all morning long. So when she woke up just a few hours later, my feet hit the floor as if I’d slept for 12 hours. And when I saw the joy that she got from what I had done for her, it made it all more than worth it.
As I look back on that, I can’t help but smile and wonder if I got a glimpse of what God feels for me sometimes. Not because I’m a perfect child, but because he’s the perfect Father who gets glory when my joy is in Him. 2 Corinthians 6:18 tells us plainly that God is our Father if we have surrendered our lives to him. Then Zephaniah 3:17 reminds me that my Father God loves me. He REALLY loves me in a way that only a father can truly understand. This verse says, “For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”
Then the amazing thing is this. God did so much more than build a swingset to see my face light up. He did much more than sacrifice a few hours of sleep to see me smile. He gave everything. He sacrificed his all. And He did it all because when I am made new, it glorifies Him.
So tonight I’m thankful my Father can do so much more than just build a swingset for me. But I’m thankful I’ve experienced just a glimpse of the glory he receives when my joy is in Him.
All because of a swingset.