The invitation is real. His eyes dance with delight as He beckons me to join Him.
“On a playground, Lord?” I ask.
And all He does is laugh and extend His hand.
The magnetic pull is strong. It’s as if one part of the magnet is Jesus’ heart, and the other is my heart. They are not meant to be separate but together.
He is asking for my yes, my fiat. And He really hopes I don’t keep Him waiting any longer.
Jesus is so full of joy! There is a lightness in His face, a playfulness in His eyes.
I instantly think of the many parables He told while on earth. The kingdom of heaven is like a vineyard … The kingdom of heaven is like ten maidens … The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed.
But Jesus is telling me a new parable. The kingdom of heaven is like, well, a playground.
And can’t you just picture it? A delightful, fun, adventurous place!
The Lord invites me to follow, knowing there will be joys and sorrows, highs and lows.
He shows me that the work He has for me (and you) in His kingdom has its ups and downs, kind of like the ladder I have to climb in order to receive the reward of a fast ride down a curving slide.
At times, life with Him will feel like the movements of the swing set. The work of pumping my legs back and forth will be so worth the carefree feeling of soaring high in the sky, with the wind in my hair.
And God reminds me that He doesn’t promise I won’t get hurt in this kingdom of His. Just like on a playground, sometimes I will fall off the swing or tumble off the jungle gym. I will scrape my knee. I will want to hide. There will be times when I find myself alone on the playground, too. I will be abandoned, left out, and at times lonely for companionship.
But Jesus, in His goodness, reminds me that He is near me when I fall. He is there to pick me up, wipe away my tears, and heal my wounds. He is my friend when no one else is.
I stand on the edge of the playground, the edge of the kingdom of heaven. With an outstretched arm, Jesus extends His invitation once again. His eyes are brimming with delightful mischief, filled with light and love.
“Let’s go, Sarah! I have so much planned for us. What are you waiting for?”
I place my hand in His. Warmth travels through my entire being, assurance that the Lord has me in the palm of His hand. I am His, and He is mine.
“OK, Lord!” I respond. “Let’s go!”
And we begin to run.
“They who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)
This post first appeared on the WINE: Women in the New Evangelization blog.