Last weekend, my daughter was privileged to perform in the Nutcracker with the Moscow Ballet, which came to a city near us. What a perfect way to begin our holiday season! My family and I were transfixed at the spectacle of the dancers swirling about in jewel-toned Victorian costumes; the “growing” Christmas tree; the transformation of the Nutcracker into the handsome prince; and of course, the sight of our darling girl in her mouse costume scurrying about the evil Rat King. With its stunning scenery, lighting effects, and performances that drew gasps and applause from the audience, the evening is one I’ll always remember.
But as any parent with a child involved with a sport or special skill knows, that one thrilling evening came as a result of hard work and sacrifice. First, there were auditions with accompanying drama. Then, beginning in late August, my husband took my daughter to practices nearly every Sunday, already a very busy day at our house. My daughter walked through her parts at home so that they would stay fresh in her mind until the next practice. We didn’t know about certain costume requirements until the last minute, though that all worked out just fine (thank you, Amazon Prime two-day shipping). And the day of the performance, we were considering buying a different pair of ballet slippers. There was further angst as well, but none of that really mattered; I wanted everything to be just right for my daughter’s once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to dance among world-renowned professionals.
And it was! Though she’ll never forget the performance experience, the moment I’ll remember most was afterward, when she came out from the backstage area, neck craned as she searched for me among the crowd of parents. She found me, and grinned, and raced to give me a hug. As we held onto each other and I grinned back at her through my happy tears, my cup was full. Moments of joy like that, when we get to share our children’s mountaintop experiences—they make all the stresses of parenting fade for a time, don’t they?
And to think, that’s just a taste of what it will be like when I see Jesus. After all the struggle and striving of this Christian life, when I finally see his glorious face, all else will pass into insignificance. I’ll be overwhelmed with awe, reverence, and true happiness—not just for a moment, but for the rest of eternity.
Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. —I John 3:2
What keeps you pressing on toward that moment of seeing Jesus’ face for the first time? I’d love to hear from you.
Featured image courtesy of the Moscow Ballet web site.