Second in a series on Eternity.
Frederick Buechner once wrote, “Like Adam, we have all lost Paradise; and yet we carry Paradise around inside of us in the form of a longing for, almost a memory of, a blessedness that is no more, or the dream of a blessedness that may someday be again.”
Have you ever had an epiphany that there’s got to be more to life than what we experience on earth? If only for a moment, the fog is dispersed by razor-sharp clarity. I can remember a few times when my muddled mind began to grasp hold of the fact that I’m created for another world.
When I first fell in love with Romania, it soon became clear that I – an American – would never totally fit in there. The realization that I’d never fit in back in my home country either slapped me one day. I’d changed too much, at the core of who I am and what I value. I truly felt like the alien my visa proclaimed me to be. Strangely, that was OK. I knew at that moment that God didn’t create me to feel comfortable or fit perfectly anywhere on earth. He made me for my future and forever home, where my citizenship is intact.
Years later, when the mafia burglarized my flat in Budapest, my first thought was one of gratitude that someday I’ll live in a place where thieves will never again break in and steal. Someday! The painful things of our journey on earth will melt away.
“For God does not create a longing or a hope without having a fulfilling reality ready for them. But our longing is our pledge, and blessed are the homesick, for they shall come home,” Isak Dinesen wrote.
And then there are those moments when I’ve had a forestaste of glory divine. Have you? Like a soft breeze, sweet moments of intimacy come to me, curled up in the lap of the Lover of my Soul. Home where I belong.
Someday, when we gather in our forever home, we’ll worship the Lamb around his throne, as one with brothers and sisters from every nation, diverse languages blending in harmony. When I returned to Romania a few years back, singing songs of praise to God with my Romanian friends, the emotion of doing what we were created to do – together – completely overwhelmed me. I knew I’d witnessed a glimpse of heaven that day. And maybe – just maybe – some of those dear ones will be there because my friends and I surrendered our life’s priorities to God’s leading. My tiny life – and yours – can truly make an eternal impact!
These last few weeks, entering in to the deep sorrow my friends bear with the death of their child, I remember again that life on earth is temporary. But life with Jesus is forever! Someday my friends will be reunited with their son. That thought is the certain hope that comforts. This world isn’t all there is. There’s more. Much more.
Complete joy. Unhindered communion. Total fulfillment. Pure relationship with the One our souls were created to enjoy forever. No more tears. Or pain. No fear. No sorrow. Never to hurt again. Never to be misunderstood. All our questions answered. Perfect peace. That’s the Paradise we carry inside.