Now and Then

One of the big mysteries about life is hidden from us, at least for now.  A person’s life, and what it means, and what they accomplished, and how they will impact generations to come, is hidden from our view.

Let me put a bit more bluntly – if you assess a person’s life only from this side of heaven you are missing the biggest piece.  Let’s face it – even if you live to be 100 years old, what is that compared to eternity?  Now, you begin to get the picture…

Life is a mystery, if for no other reason, then it has to end, at least in this present world.  This causes pain, suffering, grief, despair, and other emotions for those of us left behind.  We find little comfort in knowing they are doing ok, for we are left without them.

Now to get specific….  We are only caretakers in this body we live in.  We don’t own it, although we sometimes act as if we do.  It is ours for a limited time, and our spirit finds a home in it.  But, one day this house we live in and occupy will dissolve, and go back to the dust it came from.  From atoms back to atoms.  Scattered in the wind, or buried in the ground, it doesn’t make much difference, it is gone.

But, the person is not gone.  Well, they are gone from our presence, but they are not dissolved or dispersed, or reduced to atoms.

The story is told that Harry Houdini (noted magician and escape artist of the early 20th century) was interested in spiritual things.  He attended many seances and spiritual meetings that were intended to contact the dead and departed.  He exposed many frauds, as he searched for a true connection with the life here-after.  In all, he failed.  While he was dying he told his wife, “If it is possible, I will try to contact you from wherever I am.”  According to Mrs Houdini, she never heard from Harry again.

While we cannot contact them, and they cannot contact us, this does not mean they are not there.  Only that there is a gulf fixed between us and them, and it cannot be bridged, at least in this lifetime.

So, where does this leave us?  It leaves us at the doorstep of faith.  Faith in what?  Faith in the Word of God, and what God has said.  If God is God then what He said will stand.  If God is not God, then there is no hope for anyone, as we are just a bunch of dust floating in the wind – an accident of nature – a fragile and momentary flicker of life.

But, if God is God, then we have hope through the words of Christ – “Let your heart not be troubled, neither let it be afraid.  For in my Father’s house are many mansions.”  Christ wanted His disciples to know that although He would be leaving them He would come again and receive them to Himself.

But, what does it take to believe this?  Yes, that is right, faith.  Can you see it, feel it, hold it, capture it?  No, which is why it is called faith.  If you could reason it out, feel it, touch it, hold it, it wouldn’t be called faith.

Faith is simple.  We can make it complicated, but really it is simple.  I’ve repeated this, but it is worth repeating once again.  As I watched the World Trade Center towers burning on 9/11, the camera focused on a man standing in an open window.  Smoke was billowing out of the window, so the fire was close.  He made the ‘sign of the cross’ and then jumped.  While some might say this was a futile gesture, I disagree.  You see it doesn’t matter what kind of life he lived.  It only matters how he faced death, and in facing death he gave his future to Christ.  That’s all that really matters.  He may have been like the thief on the cross, or he may have been a devout Christian.  But, in the end what really mattered was that he put his future in the hands of Christ.

We can make things very complicated, but it really is pretty simple.  Where will you spend eternity?  Does everyone go to heaven?  I’d like to say, yes, but the Bible doesn’t agree with that.  There are, therefore, choices to make.


One Response to “Now and Then”

  1. Barbara McGuire Says:

    This blog says it all! Very clear in every aspect. Much to ponder here……! Blessings!

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