See You Tomorrow
I kissed Otto’s cold forehead and whispered, “I’ll see you tomorrow,” as my eyes brimmed with tears and I backed away. I knew I’d never set eyes on my beloved father-in-law again on earth, but those words spilled out from my soul nevertheless. My adult children by my side, we casually steadied each other as the three of us walked away from his coffin and took our seats with the rest of the family.
Later that evening, my son asked, “Mom, why did you say you’d see him tomorrow?”
“I think that’s how it will seem to him in heaven,” I said. “Like he won’t even feel he’s been there very long when I see him again–like maybe a day. Time’s different there.”
But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day (2 Peter 3:8 NLT).
Time’s a mysterious companion. Now that I’m eligible for senior discounts, I look back over the years and wonder, how did I get this old so fast? But I also remember being a young teen who felt it was taking forever to get old enough to get a driver’s license. We celebrate birthdays and anniversaries, counting the years as they pass by. And when people we cherish die, time becomes a rude reminder of how much we miss them. Mourning makes for long, slow days.
However, our deceased loved ones who loved the Lord God are celebrating being in the presence of Jesus Christ, Emmanuel—God with Us (literally), where time has no place. Imagine that! Because existence is in a different form and on a different continuum, there’s no concept of time.
I don’t pretend to know exactly how this will feel or how our afterlives will play out on heaven’s lack of a timetable. But I do know we are promised a glorious eternity. We will be in the light of God’s glory and Jesus has prepared a place for us.
Picture yourself in heaven. There’s no night, no darkness. You are distinguishable as you, but you have a different body, not capable of death or disease. People you knew on earth know you in heaven. Your surroundings are out of this world – streets paved with gold and gates made of huge pearls. You might not know when you got there or when anyone else got there. You’re just glad to be there. An angel brings messages every now and then telling you what you need to do. Then, perhaps in the midst of your typical activities, I imagine you might get the message to go to the front gate to greet another person you love whose eternity in heaven is just beginning. What incredible joy! A much different picture than what’s happening on earth.
Possibly, I’ve used too much imagination in connecting the dots about life in heaven. Surely, the most wonderful joy of the afterlife will be living in the presence of God, serving Him, worshipping Him, and living in a new world without sin and death. But the older I get, the more people I’m looking forward to seeing when I get there. Their reservations were ahead of mine.
When it’s time for me to go, I want all of my family and friends to be so sure of their final destination that they can kiss my earthly body’s forehead and whisper, “I’ll see you tomorrow.” In fact, I hope I don’t have to leave before getting that assurance in my soul.
Isaiah 40:29-31 29He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. 30Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 31but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
In this awesome chapter about the incomparable greatness of God Isaiah, closes with God’s ability to impact the lives of men. Though He is the high and Holy One, He gives His strength to those who are weary and weak. This is a theme that runs throughout Scripture. God does not help the self-reliant. Contrary to the popular expression, He does not help those who help themselves. He helps those who trust in Him. We must realize how helpless and needy man is. Then we can call out to God with our whole heart, without some man empowered backup plan. Our hope must be in God alone. Then He will meet us with the strength we need to endure.
Time and time again, God’s people have come to the end of themselves, and then God has done great things through them. It was when the body of Jesus was nailed to the cross and laid in a tomb that God brought about the greatest victory and greatest display of His strength. It was when Elijah thought he was finished that God began to use him for the majority of his ministry. It was when Hezekiah had nowhere else to turn that God defeated the Assyrian army. We could go on to some of the modern missionaries. Many of them came to the end of themselves and some even to death before their ministry exploded with fruitfulness.
Whatever your situation or season in life, look to God. Look to His strength. Don’t rely on your own wisdom or energy but on the life and strength of Christ in you.
Consider: When you think you can’t go on, and the need is there before you, hope in the LORD, and ask for a renewal of His strength. Then get ready to soar.
The Devil’s Burdens – Streams in the Desert – December 1
- 20221 Dec
There remaineth, therefore, a rest to the people of God (Hebrews 4:9).
The rest includes victory, “And the Lord gave them rest round about;… the Lord delivered all their enemies into their hand” (Joshua 21:44). “Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57).
An eminent Christian worker tells of his mother who was a very anxious and troubled Christian. He would talk with her by the hour trying to convince her of the sinfulness of fretting, but to no avail. She was like the old lady who once said she had suffered so much, especially from the troubles that never came.
But one morning the mother came down to breakfast wreathed in smiles. He asked her what had happened, and she told him that in the night she had a dream. She was walking along a highway with a great crowd of people who seemed so tired and burdened. They were nearly all carrying little black bundles, and she noticed that there were numerous repulsive looking beings which she thought were demons dropping these black bundles for the people to pick up and carry.
Like the rest, she too had her needless load, and was weighed down with the devil’s bundles. Looking up, after a while, she saw a Man with a bright and loving face, passing hither and thither through the crowd, and comforting the people. At last He came near her, and she saw that it was her Saviour. She looked up and told Him how tired she was, and He smiled sadly and said: “My dear child, I did not give you these loads; you have no need of them. They are the devil’s burdens and they are wearing out your life. Just drop them; refuse to touch them with one of your fingers and you will find the path easy and you will be as if borne on eagle’s wings.”
He touched her hand, and lo, peace and joy thrilled her frame and, flinging down her burden, she was about to throw herself at His feet in joyful thanksgiving, when suddenly she awoke and found that all her cares were gone.
From that day to the close of her life she was the most cheerful and happy member of the household.
And the night shall be filled with music,
And the cares that infest the day,
Shall fold their tents like the Arabs,
And as silently steal away.
From: Today Devotions
SCRIPTURE READING — LUKE 1:26-35
“You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.”
No one expected it—not Joseph, and certainly not Mary. A child before marriage. A son conceived without having sex, however that might work. He would be a holy child, someone set apart to God. He would be the Son of God, whatever that might mean. That’s what the angel told Mary.
Naturally, Mary asked how this would happen. The angel said the Holy Spirit would come upon her. Who ever heard of such a thing? Joseph and Mary expected that any child they might have would be a gift from God. But they sure didn’t expect this.
Though their son would be conceived in an extraordinary way, he would be born in the usual way. He would eat and sleep in the usual way. He would grow up in the usual way. And he would learn the family trade in the usual way.
For a long time, there wouldn’t be much unusual about their son. Not until the Holy Spirit, who would come upon Mary, would also descend on their son (Luke 3:22). The Spirit would send their son on a mission to be the Savior of the world.
That mission would unfold in ways no one expected. But their son would keep moving forward. With a generous heart, with a courageous spirit, and with toughened soles, he would stick to the path of that mission for the glory of God.
Jesus, you are the pioneer and perfecter of faithfulness. Your feet walked the path ahead of us. May our feet keep moving as we walk along behind you. Amen.