My kids skipped in a circle on the neatly packed bricks of the square at the entrance of Disneyland. Kellie was fussing with the stroller and I was checking our wristbands as the hundreds of other families readied themselves for a fantastic day. It’s a magical place, truly it is.
We bounced from one ride to another, seeing the life-sized characters of Pocahontas, Buzz Lightyear and, of course, the Mouses. With each new turn, my kids’ eyes grew as the wonder, aromas and excitement of the theme park reminded them that ‘happy’ still exists on the planet.
I recall this time because I need to. I allow this memory to roll on my mind’s movie screen because it is required. The reel reminds me, not of the happiness of my kids or the shared experience of my family, but of the powerful joy I felt seeing my kids exuberant. When their faces glowed, mine shone brighter. When their giddiness was uncontrollable, so was my laughter because at some point, I found greater joy in my kids’ happiness than in my own.
This is how God sees you. He loves to see you giddy. He loves to witness you shine. He loves it when his creation in your life causes that wide-eyed wonder and he giggles when he slips a miracle or two into your schedule and you come out beaming. Even when your life steps in gum or the ride makes you queasy, he is there — like any good dad — reassuring you that its all okay.
At the end of the day, all three kiddos were asleep, on top of each other, in a stroller meant for one. We exited the park with the other thousand families. As I pushed, another father pushed next to me with his kids bundled like mine. We caught eyes, smiled, and shared a moment because we both realized how awesome it was to show our kids what a wonderful life it could be.
“For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” Zephaniah 3:17