I had a very interesting conversation this week. I had been talking about Jesus with a group of people when a woman piped up “I don’t get this idea of eternal life.” I began to explain about becoming children of God and living with Him forever. She said that she knew all that but she didn’t understand why anyone would want to live forever!
From childhood her experience has been difficult indeed. She has known way more than her share of abuse and sickness. She has come to love Jesus but dreaded the thought of eternity.
I recalled an experience I had years ago grappling with this issue, though from a much different background. I somehow had got the picture of Heaven as sitting on a white cloud playing a harp. Now I am sure the harp is a perfectly lovely instrument but the idea of strumming or plucking away at this forever induced cold sweats at the thought of unending tedium. Fortunately I was given a better and truer vision of Heaven. I now ‘see’ Heaven as a place of “endless creativity without frustration.” This appeals to me and each frustration I meet here seems to fill me with longing for this Home.
My friend could not imagine a life that was not filled with abuse and sickness. This should not surprise us, though I admit I was a bit surprised. People who have not experienced an inkling of goodness cannot imagine what it might look like.
This was a great opportunity and as our conversation ranged on a little spark of hope began to glow in my friend. She cannot yet imagine what eternal life might be like but she is now open to the idea it might be great!
We spoke about some of the “Spirituals” sung in the cotton fields of the South. One Christmas song says to Sweet Little Jesus Boy “the world was mean to you Lord, its mean to me too.”
We talked about how eternal life speaks not just about quantity but quality of life.
We spoke of the promise that God could do ‘exceedingly abundantly above all we can ask or imagine’ It then becomes our chore to dream and day dream about our future home, in the knowledge that we likely haven’t begun to scratch the surface.
A Buzz Lightyear says “To Infinity and Beyond”
The idea of being a pilgrim is really appealing. This is not our home! Yet I am keenly aware that our mission until He comes is to see His Kingdom come on earth. This means showing love and goodness so that people like my friend can imagine a new hope and new eternal life.