i don't know how to describe the amount of thanks i have for eternity. i think of heaven as it currently is - the paradise that Jesus told the thief on the cross next to Him that He would join Him in that very day. finally free from the struggle with sin and pain. to be absent in body and to be present with the Lord, as the apostle paul put it.
and then there is the return of Jesus and the new heaven and the new restored earth - the new jerusalem. it is the day when He will wipe away every tear from our eyes. can you even begin to imagine it? the heavenly city joining with earth and the two becoming one... and our bodies raised from the grave and rejoined with our spirits, and completely restored to better than ever - just like ezekiel saw in his vision of the valley of dry bones. can these bones live? sometimes it is hard to believe it will really happen... and then i get those priceless moments when the Holy Spirit breathes faith onto my heart and it all clicks and makes sense and it so real that i feel as if i could almost touch it right now.
for me, it ends up relating back to my dad. if i die before Jesus returns, i will get to see my daddy in paradise. but, if Jesus comes back before i die - i will get to literally see my dad's body raised from the grave and completely restored from all the havoc that cancer wreaked on him. and not only restored, but in a glorified body shining with light just like Jesus. (and of course we will all be raised that day whether we died before His return or not) but wow. after seeing my dad at his very sickest, the thing that helps me not dwell on what that horrid disease did to him is to picture him happy and healthy and his body working completely perfect because i know the next time i see him that is how he will be.
i think of my sister's baby that she miscarried - a baby i had prayed for for so long - and i wonder if that baby will have aged with the time gone by or if i will get a chance to hold the baby just like i want to so badly. i am not sure how all that works, but i am so happy that we will meet that little miracle baby and all the pain and sorrow from this delay in knowing the little one will be wiped away by our Beloved Savior and King. i think of so many friends who have lost babies and my heart longs more and more for the day when all this wrong will finally be made right and families will be rejoined.
can you imagine it? we will behold the beauty of His face, we will feel our hearts come alive for the first time... and He Himself will not be too busy with important things, but will wipe the tears that we cannot help but cry. because we have waited so long... so long for this day of a restored earth and the curse of death removed forever and life to finally be the way it always was meant to be - eternal and free from sin and pain and sickness and death.
i know my words are so weak to express the depth of gratitude or longing i feel for the eternity that awaits - it makes it tolerable to walk through very hard days here in a fallen world. it is true hope.
i hope you will take time to listen to this song below - it has helped me along many a tough day... many a day when it felt like i was blurry on how anything would ever get better or my heart would not hurt so much. it has filled me with the hope of His coming and the hope of seeing my daddy and my Daddy God too...
want to read more of my 31 days of thanks? just click on the box below - it is that simple.