This is not my home…
The older I get, the more of this life that I experience, the more evident it is that this life, our existence on this planet is not fair. Things very seldom go the way that we would consider fair.
Look no farther than your personal life and it’s easy to get caught up in how unfair our existence is, look out beyond yourself, and things get even more depressing.
When your therapist starts referring to you as “Job”, you know things in your life are not fair.
In the midst of a very trying time in my personal life a friend asked me, how do you still have hope? I had to think about this for a long time before I had something close to an answer. I replied, “my hope is not in this life”.
This is not my home, this planet, this existence, this is only a place I live for now. My home, the place I truly belong, comes after this life. I like to think about it like this: I am an ambassador here at this time on this planet. When someone is selected to be an ambassador to a foreign country, they move to that country and live. They don’t truly belong in the foreign country, they live there, but they are not truly “home”. Someday, when my time as ambassador is complete I will be called home, and that will be a joyous occasion. You see some of my family has already been “called home” and I miss them greatly.
This is the way I feel here and now. I live here, but this is not home. My true “home” is still being constructed. The place I will call “home” will last for ever, and it will not be flawed the way this planet is.
People curse God, because of how unfair this world is. They say “how can God exist?” Or “if God exists, why would he let these terrible things happen?” Or the saddest one is “if God exists, I hate him”. Both questions are valid questions, and the last statement is completely understandable, when a child dies for no apparent reason, or a mother is taken before her child, or, or, or, there are so many examples of how this life is unfair.
I don’t claim to understand any of this, I can’t fathom why the suffering on this planet must be so bad, especially from “natural” occurrences. I have a slightly better understanding of why people do bad things, but a tree falling on a couple in a hammock and killing one and permanently injuring the other seems a bit harsh. I will not insult those that are truly hurting with reasons why these things must occur, I will simply say, I’m truly sorry that you are going through whatever it is.
We live in a fallen world, things can not be fair, and will not be fair in this existence. But like I said, our hope is not in, or of this world.
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared.” Revelation 21:1 NLT
This is where my hope lies. “A new heaven and a new earth”. We are told that this world is growing old, and eventually God will either completely destroy this existence or completely remake and/or restore it to its original perfect form. Along with that we are told that, we, his children, will also be completely remade, rebuilt even from the ashes to our perfect form. We are told that we will be like the resurrected Christ. We have some record of what Christ was like after the resurrection. We will be perfect and we will live forever in a perfect world, completely free from sin and the curse. I believe that if there is a new perfect heaven and earth, and we are perfect, and not limited by our current physical restrictions, that we will have eternity to explore not only our own galaxy, but the entire universe.
One of the most exciting things for me to think about is, we will have eternity to spend time with our loved ones who have gone before us. My father, made the journey about two years ago, I miss him greatly, but for me, this time right now is just a pause in our relationship. He will be there in eternity, waiting for me, and if I spend 10,000 years catching up with him, I will still have eternity to explore the rest of the universe.
Our typical view of “heaven” is usually rather limited. We tend to think of clouds, harps, and pearly gates (I always thought it was strange that heaven was a gated community :). If you can expand your imagination, and read some of what the Bible says about our future, it starts to get really exciting.
Unlimited time to do what you love. Unlimited time to spend with your loved ones. Unlimited time to spend with Christ. You’ll never have to worry about offending anyone, everyone will be perfect. There will be no more misunderstandings. The perfect utopia that we long for in this life, will be finally realized. You will never have to hurry anywhere, because you’ll literally have eternity to get there.
Did you ever wonder why we, as humans, strive to make our lives better? Why we have this drive to make life perfect? We try and try to create a world without suffering and pain. This is our goal, long, happy lives, free from sickness, free from oppression, this is the utopia that we seek as humans. We try so hard because it’s what we were created to experience. We were created for these things, if we were not meant to ever experience these perfect conditions, I don’t think we would try so hard to make life better. It’s how we were wired. But because of sin, we now live in a broken dying world, where it is impossible to experience the life we were created for.
So without trying to minimize people’s suffering, I know the suffering is real, the pain is real, the tears will fall, and nothing that I write will change that, but when the grief subsides a little, look to the future. It will be beyond your imagination, and those who you are grieving for will be there, waiting to show you around. And you will laugh with them, and you will sing with them, and Jesus will be there, and it will be glorious, and you’ll have forever to enjoy their company.
I have found that if I can remember this, that this is only a brief assignment on this planet, the best, the perfect utopia, the way that we know things should be, is yet to come, it makes the unfairness of this existence, just a little bit more bearable.