I’ve been reading The Chronicles of Narnia with the boys at bedtime and last night—Spolier Alert— we came to the part where Aslan dies. We’ve been taking one chapter at a time, but this time I had to immediately follow up with the part where Aslan comes back from the dead. I just couldn’t bear to leave them at that point in the story. Plus, I don’t think there would have been much sleeping going on at our house otherwise.
But it wasn’t just that. I knew what was coming. This resolution of tension which was future for my sons was a memory for me.
And I couldn’t wait.
I was positively giddy to start this chapter titled Deeper Magic from Before the Dawn of Time because I knew what it would do. I knew their tears of sadness were about to turn to joy and triumph. And, sleepless nights notwithstanding, I wasn’t about to hold back the best part from them. Just out of curiosity, I wanted to see the looks on their faces at the payoff.
So we pushed on, and as Avery held his covers over his mouth and Evan buried his head in his pillow, I read the sentence where Lucy and Susan turn around to see Aslan standing victoriously resurrected. Evan’s head popped off the pillow with a gasp. Avery’s reaction was—and I quote—”What the?”
After finishing the chapter and tucking them in, I told them that the man who wrote these stories did so to help us to remember how Jesus died for us and came back to life again. We prayed and thanked God for sending His Son to save us, and then it was lights out.
I came away with a newfound appreciation for God’s patience with His children—not only His longsuffering in the midst of our failures, but also in holding back His blessings until just the right moment. After all, He is our Heavenly Father. He knows how to give good gifts to His children. And if my imperfect heart was dizzy with delight at the prospect of unleashing victory and triumph on two unwitting 4-year-olds, how much joy is pent up in the heart of the Ruler of the universe?
On this Holy Saturday, we commemorate those agonizing hours between putting Jesus in the tomb and worshipping at His resurrected feet. We don’t have to tax our imaginations too heavily to empathize with those downcast apostles, because our entire existence is one long Saturday; waiting, longing, aching for the day when we stand face to face with a Galilean rabbi who tasted the bitter cup of death for us and lived to tell the tale.
Sorrow may last in this night, but joy comes with the morning. Your joy. My joy. But not least of all the joy of our Father, whose heart is bursting at the thought of what He has in store for His children.