The Very Best Can Only Get Better

(On a beach-head in Kauai 11 years ago…)

Our group settled among an isolated beach strip. About one hundred feet into the cascading water a rock edifice jutted out of the cerulean sea, the perfect height for novice jumpers and divers.

To its immediate left a coral formation had formed underwater, apparently soft and smooth as kids and parents walked knee-deep in water along its roof. I swam out to the reef and found a spot seemingly perfectly formed for my buttocks. In my reef recliner I turned and faced the shoreline.

Brooding green and grey escarpments wrapped along the coast as far as could be seen. Brown sand gave way to dense vegetation almost untouched by humanity. Magnificent mountains whipped with small clouds were seen in the distant inland. The water glittered like diamonds before me and a gentle breeze ruffled the hair I used to enjoy.

My body, surrendered to the water, moved slightly to the rhythm of the gentle waves around me.

A living postcard exploded before my eyes.

It doesn’t get any better than this, I thought.

In that glorious fleeting moment: Complete comfort. Complete safety. Complete satisfaction.

But even in the grandeur of that moment, I was wrong.

It can only get better…for those in Christ.

St. Augustine once wrote after witnessing a North African sunset plunge into the ocean: “If these are the beauties afforded to sinful man, what does God have in store for those who love Him?”

The crystal sea will make the Caribbean look like a mud puddle.

Intimacy with the Bridegroom will make sex feel like an afterthought.

Wine and food at the Lamb’s wedding feast will make a Red Lobster shrimp dinner taste like an expired Hotpocket.

The worst days are no match either. As a slipped disc violently speed bags my sciatic nerve. As nasty flu symptoms begin to ravage my throat and head.

No fleeting moment of satisfaction then. No tramadol/robitussin induced haze then. A “far more eternal weight of glory” awaits His broken and bleeding.

Our worst days,

best days,

average days,

all days;

get better in Christ alone.

Bryan Daniels

Bam Bam says “Thank You”

Gideon wants to sincerely thank you all for the gracious birthday wishes last Sunday.

Bedroom eyes much?

His parents thought it would be a good idea to meet some family at a local park to celebrate the little boy’s birthday. We didn’t factor in the gale force wind and brooding thunderclouds. Trying to pick up windblown flying pieces of wrapping paper with a herniated disc is about as fun as a Russian root canal. (The disc is feeling better thank you Jesus)

We met under a half built park pavilion that kept us half dry from the intermittent sprinkles. It was certainly kite flying weather as evidenced by this photo of Gideon with his brother, Josiah. The awesome old people scattered about this photo are his Mimi, Papa Jack, Uncle Gene, and Pa.

Mama was particularly proud of the cake design. Not of typical one year old birthday variety. Our nickname for the tyke is “Bam Bam.” Seriously, the kid has a kung fu action grip on him that rivals a medium size orangutan. If he gets a hold of a cookie you’ll have to pry it out of his cold dead hands (Charlton Heston voice).

As always, I am a proud and thankful husband and daddy. The common consistent graces of family, food, and fun should never be lost on us.

Peace and Grace,

Bryan Daniels