Boy, that was exciting! That’s what we yelled the day my good friend Mike hit a beautiful golf shot on a par 3 hole—bounced on the green and rolled right into the cup for a hole-in-one. I’d never seen one before! Mike was dancing on the tee box in excitement—that was fun.

When was the last time you had that type of excitement—that joy? It’s been a while for me. I still smile today thinking about that moment. It is hard to smile when you are in the midst of a trial. Life is not going as planned, the kids are suffering, the bills are large, the relationship isn’t as exciting as it once was—you are having more and more days in a funk. You just can’t shake it—it’s keeping you down. But God knew that—He knew life wouldn’t be easy, that we would have to “go through” the trials, that we would be tested by fire. But what a glorious promise he made us:

And God has reserved for his children the priceless gift of eternal life; it is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. So be truly glad! There is wonderful joy ahead, even though the going is rough for a while down here. These trials are only to test your faith, to see whether or not it is strong enough and pure. It is being tested as fire tests gold and purifies it—and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold; so if you faith remains strong after being tried in the test tube of fiery trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day of his return.
1 Peter 1:4, 6–7

Put yourself on that tee box: you’re 165 yards out, you have a six-iron in your hands, the breeze is soft, moving left to right—your swing is perfect, the ball is on its way . . . Now, visualize this: you trusted the Lord, lifted your spirit from the trials of today, and focused on the gift of eternal life—what joy you are experiencing! You’re dancing on the tee box in Heaven!

Lord, we thank You for the trials You send our way—we really do. Because it is from these trials and hardships that we learn to appreciate when You bring us joy. All those frustrating missed shots allow us to recognize the perfect shot, the perfect love. We pray that You help us today to refocus our attention away from the trials and instead on the destination You have already reserved for us. We look forward to our dance with You, in Heaven.

Have a joyful day.