The Empty Chair
"And the name of the city from that time on shall be, 'Yahweh Is There'" (Ezekiel 48:35b).
Ending a ministry-related conversation on my cell phone, I jumped out of the car, shut the phone off, and hurried into the auditorium where my child was about to perform in an afternoon elementary school play. I slipped in a bit late, but just in time to see the children being escorted down the aisle and up onto the stage. My little one saw me and waived excitedly. At that moment I remembered how wonderful it is to be a daddy.
Soon another group of children were being led down the aisle. One in particular caught my attention. She spotted an older lady in the crowd who sat just in front of me (whom I guess was her grandmother) and broke from the line running to her. Pointing to the empty chair next to the woman the little girl asked, "are you saving that chair for Daddy?" The grandmother cleared her throat and said, "I was honey, but your Daddy called and said he couldn't make it". Tearing up, the girl turned and began walking back to the other children, telling one of her friends "my Daddy never comes".
We shouldn't judge this man too harshly. Real life has real problems, and it is very possible this man had legitimate reasons for his absence. But how very different is our heavenly Father. In the verse above, the prophet Ezekiel had just gotten through explaining the wonders of Heaven. But he has saved the best description for last (the very last verse of the book, actually). With all of its wonders and perfections, the best part of heaven is that Yahweh will be there! Daddy's chair will never be empty and we will always be in the presence of a Father who loves and cares for us.
Oh how I long to see that glorious city with its streets of gold! Yet how much more do I long to see the one who sits in Daddy's chair.