Friday, April 11, 2008

Eternity In My Heart

Hello my friends,

This week I said goodbye to my parents, yet again. As many of you know, my mom went to be with the Lord on August 1, 2005 and my dad joined her on May 26, 2006. In their Living Trust I was named their successor trustee and given the responsibility of finalizing their affairs after their deaths. I had known for years that I would one day be faced with this task but I did not know that it would affect my emotions as deeply as it has.

After Dad died, my sister, Janis, and I began the painful job of going through the folks' house in Vancouver and making the thousands of decisions about how to dispose of their belongings. That took us months and cost us many tears. Then, after the house was finally empty, we began the long project of remodeling and preparing the house for sale. Again, that took months and countless hours of labor. And all during that time I could feel the folks' presence in that house because of all the happy hours we spent with them there.

So on Wednesday after signing the final papers for the sale of the house I drove over there for the last time to pick up a lamp that I had left there, and to do a final walk-through to make sure that everything was in order for the new owners. However, I was not prepared for the emotional impact that last visit to their house would make on me. As I walked through the house, room by room, I could see my mom and dad there. I could visualize their furniture and see my mom's beautiful things sitting all around. Even though the rooms were empty, in my mind's eye I could see Dad's desk and his books lining the shelves. I could hear their voices. In the dining room I could see the big table where we shared many meals together and spent hours afterward playing "Chicken-foot" or "Ten-thousand." I could see Mom's chair where she spent hours reading or studying God's Word and praying.

There is an old Gospel song that says, "This world is not my home, I'm just a passin' through. My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue. The angels beckon me from Heaven's open door and I can't feel at home in this world anymore." I find that as I get older and have to keep saying goodbye to people I love, my ties to this world and present life become more tenuous. Though I do not consider myself to be "old," yet when I do the math I start to realize that I know more people in Heaven than I do down here. When I was younger I had absolutely no interest in Heaven. Oh sure, I wanted to go there eventually and knew that Christ was preparing a place for me there, but I didn't give much thought to it. Now I find myself thinking about it a lot, wondering what it will be like, and looking forward not only to seeing the Lord but also to seeing some people that I miss a great deal.

There is a verse that has intrigued me for a long time. It is found in Ecclesiastes 3:11 and it says, "He [God] has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end." That phrase, "He has set eternity in the hearts of men," is the part that especially fascinates me. What does it mean? To me it says that God has given me, as His child, an eternal perspective and a divinely given homesickness for Heaven. As a new creation in Christ I now have a personal relationship with the eternal Creator God of the universe. I am an eternal being who will spend eternity with Him. The better I get to know Him, the more my mind focuses on eternal things rather than temporal things. The older I get the more I become aware that all that separates this life from eternity is a thin veil, one breath, one heartbeat. In fact, eternity is very near to us, no matter how old we are. We are never more than a heartbeat away from eternity. For those of us who know the Lord Jesus, that thought should be a great comfort. For those who do not know Him and have not made provision for where they will spend eternity, that thought must be frightening indeed. I hope all of you have eternity set in your hearts too, like I do.

Crazy for Heaven,

1 comment:

  1. Count me in, Pastor. I've got some friends and family I'll see there again someday too.
    I may be one who just "squeaks in", but I'm praying to be obedient daily.


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