August 31, 2015

The Moment Every Pastor's Wife Is Waiting For

Fall is coming. The green chlorophyll is draining out of the leaves, revealing edges of brilliant color. The humidity in the air is slinking away, defeated by crisp mornings. Apples, tart and sweet, rosy and green, taut and juicy, are ripening on my friend’s tree. The color wheel of the world is turning—brighter, cleaner, sharper.

I’ve been looking forward to it for a long time.

My delight at a transformed world—burnished to shining reds and golds, dappled with contrasting greens—is a tiny heart-flutter compared to my delight at eternity’s approach. With all my heart, I long for the day when all God's people--all the members of Christ's church--shall be changed (1 Cor. 15:51).

It is the moment every pastor’s wife is waiting for.

Sorrow Becomes Joy

I have sat with a mother whose child was arrested. Prayed with parents whose child was missing—on the streets, somewhere, God only knows. I’ve wept with a woman whose husband walked out. Hugged a child whose father died. I’ve held the sorrows of cancer, mental illness, death, miscarriage, rebellion, desertion, addiction, abuse, and loneliness. I have witnessed losses with a hundred different names.

And now I wait eagerly for them to pass away. I will be there on that day, when the Lamb shepherds his people, guiding them to refreshing water (Rev. 7:17). And I will be there, when God himself finally and completely dries the tears from their eyes (Rev. 7:17, 21:4). Having shared in the sorrows, I will share in the joy.

I’ve been looking forward to it for a long time.

The Perishable Becomes Imperishable

I have seen God’s people when they are most weighed down. Sin so easily entangles. Weakness and folly and the snares of the Evil One catch at their heels. I am eternally joined to people whose gifts are obscured by their sins, whose foolish habits choke out their good intentions, whose worldly priorities shove love for Christ and service to the brethren to the end of a very long list. I know and love people who are sluggish and skeletal and stumbling.

And now I wait eagerly for them to be changed. I will be there on that day, when the twinkling of an eye and the notes of a trumpet make all things new (1 Cor. 15:52). I will be there when the weak are raised in power, the dishonored are raised in glory, and the mortal are raised to never die again (1 Cor. 15:42-44). Having walked alongside the perishable, I will live forever with the imperishable.

I’ve been looking forward to it for a long time.

Prayers Become Praise

And I have prayed. I’ve prayed for the sick, the suffering, the imprisoned, the persecuted, the poor, the spiritually dead. I have prayed for the rebellious, the hypocrites, the ignorant ensnared by falsehood. I’ve prayed for the babies and for the baby Christians. I haven’t always seen all the answers.

But I wait eagerly for them. In John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, Christian and Faithful finally approach the Celestial City. As they arrive at the gates, several Shining Ones give them welcome and accompany them on the last steps of their pilgrimage. The two travelers listen to the Shining Ones talk about the City, and then ask, “What must we do in the Holy Place?” And the Shining Ones answer them, “You must there receive the Comfort of Your Toil, and have Joy for all your Sorrow; you must reap what you have sown, even the fruit of all your Prayers and Tears, and Suffering for the King by the Way.”

I’ve been looking forward to it for a long time.


  1. Sitting here with tears streaming. What beautiful writing and what joyous hope. I, too, have been looking forward to it for a long time.

  2. Amen! This sends shivers down my spine and fills my soul with longing for that great day. I can hardly wait!


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