If they could live on the beach, they’d be happy forever, these kids of mine.  On Labor Day weekend, they taunted the churning waves and rode the swell on borrowed boogie boards — one last hurrah as summer lets out her final sigh and exhales into hibernation until next year.

 

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The lure of the waiting sand drew them in, and they started to dig.  They gravitated toward two pools of water that had collected from overambitious waves, and they began to construct a channeling system that would cause the water to move from one body to the next.

After a while, the group of friends we were with had dissipated and gone back to the beach house, until only two of my kids and I were left on the sand.  I reluctantly told them it was almost time to go, but promised I would wait until they had finished digging the final channel of water.

My daughter immediately said, “Well, we won’t get to enjoy it, but maybe the next people who come will be able to!”  She then proceeded to etch into the sand with her fingertips, a message at the entrance to their sand compound:

“For your joy.”

I wished I’d brought my camera.

As I looked at the sand-carved letters, it struck me right away that she didn’t write, “For your enjoyment,” but rather, “For your joy.”

And I thought about how the Lord has done the very same thing.

He has constructed an intricate, elaborate creation for our joy.

Have you ever thought about that?

And He didn’t stop there.  Not only did He create this universe for our joy, but He has prepared an even greater place, eternity itself, for the forever joy of those who love Him.

 

“But only the redeemed will walk there, and those the Lord has rescued will return.  They will enter Zion with singing;  everlasting joy will crown their heads.  Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away” (Isaiah 33:9b-10).

 

God worked to create for our enjoyment, and for His glory.  He worked and suffered on the cross that we might know everlasting joy.  And He is working even now, sustaining and redeeming His creation (John 5:17).

My kids took pride in their creation on the beach, and found satisfaction in the fact that others might be able to enjoy it after they left.  How much more does the Lord delight in His creation?

The best part is, the place He has prepared for His children in glory won’t be washed away by even the strongest of waves.

***

“The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” ~ Zephaniah 3:17, ESV

 

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