I caught a glimpse this past week. The glimpses are what keep me going, keep me believing.
After days of clouds and rain, the sky beamed blue, the sun unleashed brilliance, white puffs drifted. At 4p.m., I was running errands, stop at the bank, library, post office. Hurry toward my next appointment.
And then something brought me to a halt, told me to note how far the shadows stretched, how low the sun hung over the hills to the west, and how the cold had seeped into our town in spite of the sun.
This moment came at the end of a day when:
… I read the obituary of a prominent man from our area whose life-long influence in both church and business helped to shape this community, its culture and its economy. He died last week.
… Littlest Grandson came to my door, carefully holding something and wearing a gleeful grin. “Grandma, I have a present for you.” He presented me with copies of their most recent family portraits. Beautiful, each one of them, all spruced up and smiling. But when did this happen? When did Oldest Grandson grow so tall? When did Granddaughter turn into such a lady?
… Sister called. We’re trying to get something on our family schedule. First available day is December 1. December?! What happened to November? For that matter, I don’t think I was quite finished with October yet.
Then the moment of blue coldness in late afternoon whispered of winter, the year slipping away, and … how do I describe what happened?
I only know these moments as glimpses. That’s what I’ve named them. The Spirit permits me a peek through a window in the universe. Or, maybe, for a few seconds, He puts God-dimension glasses over my eyes.
Whatever it was that happened, it was the glimpse that I had been hoping for, asking God for. I had been praying for better understanding of this —
His government and its peace
will never end.
He will rule with fairness and justice from
the throne of his ancestor David
for all eternity.
The passionate commitment of the LORD
of Heaven’s Armies
will make this happen!
This is a hard thing to take hold of. How can something never end? Everything of this world begins and ends and is measured by the time between those events. We do not know how to live without that regulation.
For just a breath, a blink, I glimpsed my life outside of time. My real life, your real life, child of God, is in a realm outside of the time by which we arrange our lives now. In that realm, Christ rules forever. “My kingdom,” said Christ, “is not of this world.” (see John 18:36)
Our life in that kingdom is not a separate thing from our life on earth. We do not live earthly lives and then move into Christ’s kingdom. Our life in the kingdom is right now and is not of this world.
The end of our earthly life is, as the obituary put it, going to see our Lord and moving into a new dimension of being with the living God.
Reading Isaiah can be a roller-coaster of emotions. The harsh words of judgment for those who do not listen to the Lord and descriptions of the wasteland and destruction that await people who forget God, all shake me. I see so much of our society today in these passages, and we are so prone to get entangled with the world around us.
Yet in almost every chapter, there is a message of hope. Hope for rescue and healing. Hope for life in a peaceful and prosperous kingdom. A kingdom that will go on without end.
Why? Why would the God of the Universe bother with all of us who have caused Him so much anger and grief?
He tells us why. He is the Eternal Father, He has claimed us as His children, and his passionate commitment will make this happen. The NIV says the Lord’s zeal will make it happen. He is determined, intensely devoted to healing His creation and His people.
Yet I still dare to hope
when I remember this:
The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
His mercies never cease.
Great is his faithfulness;
his mercies begin afresh each morning.
The Lord of Heaven’s Armies has claimed us as His own, and we live not only today but without end in His kingdom.
Spirit, give us a glimpse of that realm, the without-end kingdom of the Prince of Peace.
Scripture: Isaiah 9:7; Lamentations 3:21-23 (all NLT)