“Do we really believe what we say we really believe? Do we believe that this life is just a brief staging area before real life begins on the other side, in heaven with Jesus? Are we truly counting on the fact that though these physical bodies of ours may change, or become incapacitated or severely limited, our authentic life – hidden with Christ Himself – will continue to grow and blossom and bear fruit through the rest of our years – and then forever beyond that?” Joni Earakson Tada – A Place of Healing: Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain and God’s Sovereignty
When I get to heaven, what will I wish I did differently? I think I will look back on my life and think, “if only I knew.” If only I lived out what I believed – that this time on earth really is short. The suffering brief and but a moment. If only I had remembered each day and each hour that while I am here, there is much work to be done. If God has chosen for me to be here, in this place, in this way, at this time, there is some purpose and reason behind it.
How do we live each day with eternity in view? It truly would be better to depart and be with the Lord, as Paul has said, but to live in this body means the opportunity for fruitful labor. Until Christ takes us home, it is more necessary that we remain in the body, he tells us in Philippians. But we remain in the body with the knowledge that eternity is to come. It is so easy to be sucked into immediate circumstances, pain, and suffering and lose a view of what is to come and why we are here. Everything converges in the immediate moment, as I turn in on myself and my suffering, a remembrance of eternal truth escaping me.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. II Corinthians 4:16-18