Fun in the Mud

  • July 13, 2011
  • #7618

Joni shares a story sent in by Pat which is a great picture of Malachi 4:2.

Fun in the Mud

Sometimes you listening friends send me the greatest stories! 

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada and welcome once again to "Joni and Friends" where I love reading your letters and emails – in fact, a woman named Pat Knight sent in this one. She tells the story of her toddler-son wanting to play outside one cloudy day in spring. Pat fully suited him up in a raincoat with long rubber pants and boots and watched him hop on his small bicycle with training wheels. Peddling down to the end of the driveway, she saw him eye a big mud puddle. Even though it was starting to rain, he chose not to come back up the driveway. Instead, he centered his bicycle smack in the middle of that mud puddle, leaned forward, and then began to work his little legs and peddle with all his might. Pat explained what happened next. She said, “There was this circular cascade of mud flying everywhere over the top as he sat astride his stationary bike. He was in his childhood glory, covered from head-to-toe, plopped in the middle of a wild Ferris wheel of splattering mud. By the time I reached him, he looked as if he were coated in chocolate. He was literally soaked fully inside, as he was on the outside with the mud sticking to his hair like it were chocolate mousse. But that kid’s smile? It hadn’t diminished one bit – had I not reached him, he would have continued pumping mud much, much longer, enjoying it all!”

You know what? I bet you have a story just like that. Maybe it was you who once played out in the rain non-stop, happy to your heart’s content. Playing as hard as you could. And that kind of play, that kind of abandonment and freedom and fun and frolic, that kind of skipping and leaping, frisking and cavorting is the perfect picture of Malachi 4:2 where it says, “Surely the day is coming… for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays. And you will go out and frolic like well-fed calves.”

That is a great picture of heaven. One day we’re going to step onto celestial shore and go out “frolicking,” as the Bible puts it. Like that toddler in the mud… like calves let out of the stall. Because sometimes down on this earth, you know, we feel like calves all huddled and locked up in a barn. I was in 4H as a kid and helped my sisters raise calves – they’d be all huddled together behind a fence and gate, looking absolutely miserable. But let them out of a stall? Oh my goodness, they went bounding and leaping, tails swishing, throwing back their heads! Happy, they were, and that’s exactly what the writer of Malachi wanted to convey about heaven. One day, something so grand and glorious is going to happen; something so awesome, so wonderful that we step onto heaven’s horizon, we’ll throw off every sin, every smidge of the old nature, everything about us that’s sour and sad… just like the Lord letting us out of the stall! That’s our hope; that’s our future. And Malachi chapter 4 is meant to inspire within us all that happy hope and calf-like, toddler-like joy!

And, hey, if you want to see some of that joy in the face of a child, then you just have to see the gallery of photos I’ve posted on my radio page – photos from our Family Retreats. We are smack-in-the-middle of our retreat season and, hey, the mud puddles are there for the splashing. We’re not only into fellowship at a Family Retreat, we’re into fun. So take a minute to visit joniandfriends.org and be reminded that we have so much to be happy about… all because Jesus has let us out of the stall. See you later at joniandfriends.org. 

© Joni and Friends

 

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