We got some baby chicks and ducklings Thursday evening. They are just the cutest little things. Tiny, soft, curious, and cheeping continuously. Why is it that baby creatures of any sort seem to be so much cuter than the grown ones? It seems to hold true for all animals and even people too. There’s just something special about babies.
I think one of the things that draws us to little creatures and babies is the hope and eager anticipation for the future. When I look at a little chick, I can see the potential future – that this little chick will grow to be a hen who will peck around the yard and lay eggs for the family, or will maybe be a rooster who will greet each morning with a hearty “cock-a-doodle-doo”. That little duckling will grow up and fly off to a nearby pond to swim around and eat stale bread thrown by eager, excited little hands.
It’s the same with our human babies – we see the potential of the future and wonder about who and what they’ll be. What color hair will she have? Will he like chocolate or vanilla ice cream better? Will she choose to be a teacher or an engineer? Will he enjoy basketball or woodworking? Who will she marry? How many children will he have?
There is so much potential, and so much unknown about who they will be. There’s a sense of wonderment and anticipation.
However, once the child is big and grown into adulthood, then, well, we know pretty well what they’re like. They’re already what they’re going to be for the most part. There’s not much element of anticipation anymore. We know who they are, what type of people they are, what they have chosen to do with their life. Sure, they may dye their hair, or take up a new hobby, but for the most part they are who they are. There’s no longer much sense of wonder or amazement when they’re 40, 60, 80 years old.
The beautiful thing for those of us in Christ though, is that we do still have something amazing to look forward to. By the time we reach midlife, our course in life is pretty steady and unchanging for the vast majority of us. But the wonderful thing is that we still have eternity, another world to look forward to. This is one reason why those of us in Christ can live life with such joy! This earthly life is not all there is. This life with bills, sicknesses, hardships, is not the end. One day, we will have glorified bodies and spend eternity in heaven with our Lord Jesus Christ! Hallelujah, Amen.
We can still live with hope and anticipation even when we’re 90, eagerly awaiting the new life that we will experience after death. I know this sounds too good to be true for those who don’t know the Lord, but this is where I have found my hope, my joy. I can’t imagine going through this life thinking that what we see is all there is. How hopeless, depressing and bleak life without a future inheritance would be! But I live with joy because I know my future…and it’s not just what you see right now.
“For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:17-18
“But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.” Philippians 3:20-21
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you…” 1 Peter 1:3-4
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:4
These little tiny chicks we bought are adorable. And I can’t wait to see what color they’ll be and how big they’ll get, and whether we ended up with a few roosters in the bunch or not. And I wonder if the two little ducks will stick with the flock of hens or maybe branch out on their own to start their own little flock. It will be neat to see their future unfold.
And as for my sweet little children, I can’t wait to see what they choose to do with their lives on earth. There is so much potential with their whole earthly lives still before them. But even when they’re grown, and I’m old and gray God willing, we can all continue to have an eager anticipation for the future, knowing that this life on earth is not all there is. We can know and trust that there is something much grander, much more beautiful than this current life.
And because of that hope, we remain joyful, eager, fruitful, happy.