Thursday, June 28, 2007

Expect the Best

“When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.” (Jno.2:9-10)

Someone asked me recently what had been my most enjoyable time in the past, and, for the life of me, I was stumped. Certainly not because there was a lack of times to pick from, but because there were too many to try to single out one. As the youngest child with siblings quite a bit older, my childhood may have been quieter and more sheltered than some others’; but neither was it in any way traumatic. My teenage years were fairly typical for a born again Christian girl in the 50’s, as was my life as a young wife and mother. The fact that I was married to an intense, young evangelist and pastor, who was caught up in the “big church age,” as it is sometimes called, may have made family life a little more frenetic than it might have been otherwise, but our children, now that they are older, have few complaints.

Still, why would a woman who has enjoyed being married and mothering four precious children so much, be hesitant to linger over happy memories? Is it because there are less heartaches in these latter years? No, I cannot say that. Is it because I enjoy better health now? Obviously, that is not the case. Is it that I have more financial security now that my children have made their own lives? Frankly, that is not something that can be factored into the equation either. For some reason, though, I find myself agreeing with the poet:

Expect the best! It lies not in the past.
God ever keeps the good wine till the last.
Beyond are nobler work and sweeter rest.
Expect the best!
(Wm. Pierson Merrill)

If I would venture a guess, I would have to say the overriding reason for this anomaly is that time has made me even surer of my God and the infallibility and relevancy of His Word. And this, in turn, has led to an anticipation that outweighs nostalgia, no matter how sweet it may be. I am like the governor of the feast at the marriage of Cana, attended by our Lord. The man marveled that, unlike custom, it seemed to him that the best tasting wine had been saved to the last. He acknowledged, the wine served at the beginning was good, but it couldn’t hold a candle to what he tasted now. I think I know how he felt. The beginning and middle of my life were good—wonderful even; but this last…this last. Oh, my Father, “Thou hast kept the good wine until now!”

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