In six days, my eldest will turn twelve years old (seriously?!).

He has been counting days in anticipation for over two months, it seems, to the point where his excitement has become contagious amongst his younger sister and brother.

ImageAs he mentally ticks days off the calendar, the clock ticks with its usual rhythm, the pendulum of emotion in the house swinging back and forth like a toddler’s mood.

The temperature in the house sways from one extreme to the other from one second to the next.

Heartache to happiness.

Delight to despair.

And we’ve all heard that happiness is different from joy, and sung, “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart.  Where?  Down in my heart, to stay!”

But some days it feels like we’ve been jipped, like we opened the bag of potato chips and found that a third of the bag was just air.

And then I opened my Bible this morning and found this:

Jesus saw that they wanted to ask him about this, so he said to them, “Are you asking one another what I meant when I said, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me’?  Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices.

You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy.  

A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born

she forgets the anguish because of her joy

that a child is born into the world.  

So with you:

Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice,

and no one will take away your joy …”

(John 16:19-22)

And it’s true.  The bag of potato chips is only two-thirds full, or maybe even only half.  The joy in our hearts is there, if we have Christ, but it’s not completely full.

Yet.

But it will be.

And like my son counting down to his birthday, I should be looking forward with even greater anticipation for the day when I will open my eyes and it will be my birthday in heaven, and for the first time,

the pendulum will freeze,

the bag will be full,

my grief will turn to joy,

my joy will be complete,

and no one will take it away.

This post was written in conjunction with Lisa-Jo Baker’s Five-Minute Friday.  Today’s one-word prompt was joy.

To join or to read other posts in this link-up, click here.

Photo credit: sburke2478

6 thoughts on “when the brand new bag of potato chips is half empty

  1. Wow, this really touched me. I’ve been struggling a lot lately with how quickly my life is passing by and I’ll admit to having fear about growing old. I’m not there yet, but thank you for the encouragement that I have so much to look forward too.

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