You know I really like imagery. (It's the English teacher in me!) In a devotion from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young when talking about Jesus being my best friend, it said:
The friendship I offer you is practical and down-to-earth, yet it is saturated with heavenly Glory. Living in My Presence means living in two realms simultaneously: the visible world and unseen, eternal reality. I have equipped you to stay conscious of Me while walking along dusty, earthbound paths.At one time I understood eternity as something that was in the future; it was the time at the end of my earthly stay. In the past several years, as I've been more intentional about Bible study and my TAG (Time Alone with God), I've come to understand....now you might want to hold the top of your head to keep it from popping off...that eternity is also happening now. Wow, this is confusing when you think of it.
I guess the biggest breakthrough in my understanding of eternity was when my precious friend G stepped from this life into eternity. I was not happy with God and I told Him about it and how I thought He should have handled things. After some yelling, crying, pouting, and generally being mad at God, He helped me understand what her stepping into eternity meant. G has not ceased to exist. She is in eternity with Him in Heaven and I won't get to hang out with her until I step into eternity. I now see eternity as a place with my destination as Heaven, not a time in the future. Right now I'm "walking along dusty, earthbound paths."
The "living in two realms simultaneously" thing is really mind blowing when you think about it. Sometimes we look at life...job, money, house, car, things and more things, people, places...and we let it overwhelm us trying to manage everything. Until we slow down and realize "our reality" isn't "God's reality." In His reality the things unseen, the things of eternal importance are what count. It's hard to explain sometimes, but here's the way I see it. There are some ways I can affect eternity...anytime I do what God wants me to do, like share His Word, be compassionate, be giving, etc. There are some things I look at and think, "Will this effect my standing in eternity (Will this determine if I get into Heaven?)" Cancer was one of these things. Since the answer to that question is "no," I don't think it's that big of a deal on this "dusty path." I know God's taking care of it because His character never changes.
I attended a small group last night. I'm really hoping that my treatment schedule will allow me to hang out with these incredible people this semester. We're studying how to study the Bible. Yes, I've been studying the Bible for a while, but I can always learn something else about how to study. As one of the members commented ...the Bible is a living book and we can get something different every time we read it. We took a verse and worked through some questions. One of the questions was picking out the verbs and identifying their tenses. I have to confess, the English teacher in me liked that! The verbs were all present tense, but then some had "is" before a past tense. Discussion led us to the fact that the verse (Psalm 93:1) addressed God's soverienty forever...past, present, and future. One of the members who teaches Bible class at a Christian school shared that her class had been discussing how scripture was canonized and one of the criteria was that it had to speak to all generations. Wow...there's that eternity thing again!
Icing on the cake: Today's Bible verse from my favorite radio station was Hebrews 13:8 (NLT)-"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever."
So you do need to think about eternity, but not until your head explodes. Better to think on what the bottom line really is...to know Jesus and make Him known.