I enjoy the warmth and cozy atmosphere of rainy days when I can stay indoors and listen to the gentle patter on the roof. There is something inviting about curling up with an interesting book and a cup of tea or coffee as you watch the rain splash against the windows. However, the last few days there has been nothing exceptionally inviting about our particularly wet climate! Maybe it has been because it had been raining almost continuously for a few days and in the few hours when it wasn’t raining, we were engulfed in a cloud of fog.
I was also unable to find time to read like I had hoped. There were too many other things that needed attention, and most of them involved being on the road and getting drenched as I took care of many of our errands. One of these stops involved getting stuck in someone’s driveway because of the deep ruts of mud. Thankfully, I was able to get out without needing to be towed. In actuality, I didn’t realize how tired I was of all the rain until this morning…
I awoke to see a bright, cloudless sky and beautiful sunlight streaming through the window. How refreshing it has been to step outside without an umbrella permanently attached to my arm! It is such a delightfully cheery day; it almost seems like I’ve stepped from one world into another.
I wonder if this is a small glimpse of what we will experience when we step from this side of the veil into the sunshine and joys of heaven. What will it be like to leave behind this old world that is filled with so much pain and death? In this “rain-filled” world, we
experience broken relationships, pain, disappointments, incurable diseases, suicides, fear, death, and so much more. Once we get to heaven, we will never experience anything even remotely disappointing. What a contrast to life here on earth!
If we genuinely believe that heaven is our eternal home and this life is only temporal, why do we live as if this life is all that matters? We buy expensive cars and build immaculate houses, filled with the latest technologies. We spend hundreds and thousands of dollars to experience the best vacations and to enjoy the latest pleasures that everyone is talking about. We somehow don’t fit in well to our society if we don’t have the latest “cool” toys. Our name brand clothes, iPhones, iPads, computers, recreational vehicles, enormous entertainment centers, and elaborate homes seem to define how successful we are.
We pridefully (albeit subconsciously) think that our purpose for this life is to enjoy ourselves as much as we can and to live as comfortably as we can manage. Is this why God created you? Isn’t there a much greater reason to be blessed with the very breath that God Almighty has breathed into you? Don’t aimlessly meander through life and miss your calling, the very reason why you are alive!
In Ecclesiastes 1:2-3, Solomon said, “Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity. What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun?” In my words, I interpret it as this: how meaningless is our very existence if our lives are all about us and what we can accumulate for ourselves! Our lives are only as fleeting and meaningless as mere grains of sand, if we don’t use them in the way God intended.
A.W. Tozer once said, “The church is constantly being tempted to accept this world as her home…but if she is wise she will consider that she stands in the valley between the mountain peaks of eternity past and eternity to come…” The reason you are alive is not to become financially successful. It is not to be a prestigious person in your church or community. It is not to have your children become well respected within their circle of peers. It is not to prepare for your retirement. It is not to get the most enjoyment that you can possibly get. These are the world’s ideas for the purpose in life. However, when you study God’s Word, you will discover that a devoted child of God will usually not be successful according to this world’s standards. They will not blend in with this world’s culture but will rather have obvious differences that will distinctly set them apart from what is considered “normal.” Contrary to some teachings, this “setting apart” goes far beyond the outward appearances. It has everything to do with our actions and also includes the attitudes and desires of our hearts.
What should our focus be? Rather than trying to live as easy of a life as possible, we should be focusing on being as effective for the Lord as possible. After all, we are blessed with breath and life exclusively to prepare ourselves, our families, and others for heaven, as well as bringing glory to our Lord Jesus Christ.
Our family’s GPS is set for our eternal goal….heaven! We are committed that absolutely nothing is going to hinder us from seeing the lights of “home” and from being welcomed into the arms of Jesus.
What do the choices you are making today reflect about where your focus is? Does your time and your bank account indicate that your allegiance is not to this world? Are you patiently running your race with endurance and encouraging those who are straggling behind? Many lost souls all around you are in need of an invitation from you to join this race. Rather than wasting so much of your time on meaningless “toys,” isn’t it time to invest in something that has eternal rewards?
“There have been times when I think we do not desire Heaven, but more often I find myself wondering whether, in our heart of hearts, we have EVER desired anything else.” (C.S. Lewis)