Yes, I agree with Rick Warren, we were made to last forever. “God has planted eternity in the human heart.” Ecclesiastes 3:11 I agree that this life is just a time of preparation for what is yet to come in our next life, in this place we call eternity. Heaven or hell…we will spend our present life preparing for one of these two places. I always knew this and thought I understood it (as much as our human brains can grasp it), but never in my life had I experienced actually losing someone who I loved as deeply as I loved Michael. I knew he was in eternity now with Jesus but I struggled with God’s plan of, what seems to us as, a complete separation between eternity (the spiritual realm) and the physical realm we live on this earth. I wrote about this in one of my posts the first year after his death. My first question to God about this was why would we be allowed such great love on this side of eternity with an ultimate end of being separated from it? Couldn’t we have more of a glimpse every once in awhile instead of complete separation? Yes, there is restoration in heaven. Yes, I know that the love we experience in this physical world is just a taste of the love, peace, and joy we will experience in heaven. (No matter how good it is here, it is only an extremely diluted version of what God has planned for us in heaven.) Yes, we all still have a purpose when we lose someone to eternity. Yes, our purpose that should be driving our lives each day has an eternal significance, under the umbrella of God’s purpose and plan for eternity as a whole. Yes, this should, and does, make me depend on God more, lean on Him even more for His love, protection, and comfort, as I relied on my husband….. But I am human, and I fail everyday.
But God gave us a safety net. One of the safety mechanisms is that “He put eternity in the human heart.” It is in our DNA. By Him doing that, we have a built in compass, an internal knowing that there is more to this life than what we see, a built in destiny for something greater than we can even imagine, a built in purpose with eternal significance. The problem is that not everyone recognizes it in his or her soul, and just because we don’t always tap into it, or discover it, does not mean it is not there. Those who don’t recognize it as a void, which only eternal purposes can fulfill, feel that they are missing something, that there is more to life, and they try to meet that desire, that void, with all of the wrong things, instead of recognizing it as a longing for the eternal. He also put in us the capacity, the ability, to continue on. I like the Amplified version of the bible in the way it explains this in I Corinthians 10:13. ”For no temptation (no trial, enticement to evil, testing in general)(no matter how it comes or where it leads) has overtaken you and laid hold on you that is not common to man [that is, no temptation or trial has come to you that is beyond human resistance and that is not adjusted and adapted and belonging to human experience, and such as man can bear]. But God is faithful [to His word and to His compassionate nature], and He can be trusted not to let you be tempted and tried and assayed beyond your ability and strength of resistance and power to endure, but with the temptations He will [always] also provide the way out (the means of escape to a landing place), that you may be capable and strong and powerful to bear up under it patiently.” The trial will not only be something that we can withstand, but He will also give us a way out…. He provides a safe landing strip when we feel like we are free falling.
That, my friends, is good news. It gives me hope. It makes me realize my purpose counts for eternity. It makes me imagine Michael, already on the other side of eternity, cheering me on( along with my Dad), as they watch me every time I stumble, fall, crawl, walk or run, but then brush off the dirt and continue to keep my purpose driven life pointed towards eternity.
...eyes straight ahead, eyelids right before you