Today, I want to share a verse that just plain makes me happy!
“But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture.” Malachi 4:2 (Living Bible).
I’ve had several jobs down through the years, but the one I loved the most was feeding calves on my family’s farm with my parents and brother. I’ve posted a picture from those days, and before my fashionista friends can laugh too loudly about my clothes and hairstyle, I’ll let you know that in the mid-1990’s, coveralls and buns held in place by ink pens were all the rage. ((grin)).
Working with animals is a treat–and working with baby animals is a small slice of heaven. My favorite part of feeding calves was “rodeo day.” It was the day when we’d move the calves from their individual pens where they were being bottle fed and put them into a communal pen with other calves. The ideal scenario was a sedate walk with a perfectly well-behaved calf across the yard–but it never worked out that way. Once the calf’s pen was opened, the little guy would go wild with joy. He’d kick up his heels and jump all around. He’d twist and scamper and hop and buck. The calf wanted the whole world to know one thing–he was absolutely beside himself with joy. Needless to say, the poor human escorting the calf would have to hold onto the little scamp with all their might. My memories of rodeo day are ones of joy and laughter. I can still hear my dad chuckling and saying as he escorted a calf, “This is sure a lively one!”
I think that sometimes we (and by we, I mainly mean me) get the wrong idea of God and heaven. We picture a sedate Lord sitting on a lofty throne while people in white robes shuffle around strumming harps. Maybe that’s part of it, but while I’ve been in quarantine, I’ve done lots of scripture reading and I’ve discovered that God sings, God laughs, God even shouts with joy. Heaven isn’t going to be a boring place. It’s going to be a place of OVERWHELMING JOY. Anyone who has ever moved a calf knows that’s true.
When I get to heaven, I plan on living out Malachi 4:2 to the fullest extent. I’m going to leap and kick up my heels and dance with joy. And since I fully intend on seeing you there, I’m gonna look over at you–wink–and say, “Hey, I’ll race you to that pearly gate over there!” I can just picture our joyous, singing God nudging Jesus’ elbow and saying with a chuckle, “Look at those two, will you? They’re a couple of lively ones.”