I slept in this morning. I haven't done that for several weeks, but today I did. By the time I came down I heard a very joyful noise coming from a little boy in my daycare. (No, it wasn't Ezekiel.)
There are two little guys who haven't been to daycare for two weeks. Their mom has not been able to go to her work, and so they have been staying home with her. Today that changed. And the younger brother was finding every tractor Amy has, watching me eat my EXTREMELY fascinating breakfast, and just happily finding every toy and activity that were taken away from him two weeks ago with all of the joy and excitement only a toddler can have! Right?
Unless it is his mom who for the first time in two weeks gets to go back to her work and see the people she loves and cares for. Those that this sickness so ruthlessly tore her away from. Now she gets to return. I am picturing her running the halls joyously greeting each one with laughter and tears! "I'm back! And I'm never going away again!"
Picture then the followers of Jesus this morning. The one they loved had been unjustly arrested and convicted, cruelly tortured, and then taken from them just a few days prior, but to them it felt like never again would they see Him. And now with the news of Easter they knew He was back and He would never leave them again. This morning they woke wondering where they would see Him next: by the seashore, in an upper room, along the road? But they knew they WOULD see Him again. He Is Alive!
That's the great thing about separation, as followers of Christ we can know that any separation is temporary. And the coming back together is the most joyful experience. In 2 John 1:12 John states, "I have much to write to you, but I do not want to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to visit you and talk face to face, so that our joy may be complete."
"That out joy may be complete." Sounds like a man who knew what it was like to be ripped away from someone he loved and then experienced the complete joy of seeing his friend face to face.
Ezekiel, my nearly 18-year old son, really wants to go back to school. His reason? "I just want to walk through the school and give everyone hugs." You can't do that with paper and ink, you can't do that electronically, but someday again soon we will be able to have complete joy as we visit face to face.
Our ULTIMATE complete joy will come when, like John, we see our Savior face to face. And NOTHING will compare to the complete will have on that day!