Tuesday, January 10, 2006

the joy of eternal life

The search for eternal life is a common factor in almost all religions, in that they believe in some form of an afterlife.

Eternal life is also a keystone of the Christian faith. Why? Because those who do seriously consider their purpose in life realize the futility of life outside of an afterlife.

It’s such a disappointing thought to imagine that this is it. You have 100 years if you’re lucky, more likely less. After that? The end. Caput. Nothing. Nothingness.

The Bible says, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” What if He hadn’t created them? What if He were the only One existing? I think about how sad that would be, and yet, I wouldn’t be alive to think it was sad. Nothing would be without God. The thought is staggering, and my brain can barely grasp even a thread of this truth. Life exists because God caused it to exist.

I cannot express in words what life would be like had humans never been created. Emptiness. Great emptiness. I am grateful to God simply for existing. If He didn’t exist, life would be horrible. There would be no life! It is wonderful to simply exist.

We have such a great God. I am very grateful that I have been given the opportunity to live! I don’t understand people who don’t care about where they’re going after this life. No wonder people fear death so, because that is the end in their minds.

I have so much to look forward to, and I know that death will truly be the beginning of the real story. It’s hard to imagine, especially with the cutesy images we often have of heaven: harps, golden streets, and endless singing.

C.S. Lewis’s book The Last Battle, spoke of heaven as being like earth, but 100 times better. When you ran, you could run without getting tired. When you plunged into cold water, it was deliciously cold without freezing you. When you ate a fruit, it was the best fruit you had ever tasted. I like to imagine heaven in this way, with a whole wonderful adventure to anticipate with joy.

We must not forget the greatest joy of all: being in the presence of God. I haven’t always thought this would be the most wonderful thing in the world, until I realized that Jesus is my best friend.

Imagine being in the presence of the best friend in the world, and once you’ve been eternally brought into His presence, you never do or say the wrong thing. Jesus knows everything about you, knows how to make you laugh, knows what things you enjoy doing. Jesus loves you the most. Think about a time when you truly felt loved. Imagine feeling that way all the time.

Truly, we have a loving God, who loves us so much, that He’s willing to share eternal bliss with us.

1 comment:

Lindsey said...

Isn't it awesome??? I can hardly get my mind over it! Being in the presence of God- for all eternity!! Just....Wow. I can't even imagine it. Forever! When I try to think about "forever" I fail... to imagine that we will be with God for all of eternity... wow. And then when you think that God ALWAYS has existed, for He is the Creator... wow!

I love CS Lewis' picture of heaven also. Wonderful post!!