Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Reality of Heaven Makes Our Losses Worth the Wait

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first earth had passed away”
 (Revelation 21:1).

At the beginning of the summer I had a bicycle accident.  Although no permanent damage was done, I did aggravate my back and fibromyalgia problems.  All summer I have debated whether to ride again and finally decided it wasn’t worth the risk.  I grew up on a bike so letting go of it will be losing one of the last remaining links with my old life. 

Not too long ago I heard something that changed my response to this parting.  A woman had hoped to attend a Bible study at her church but her sick aunt came to live with her.  Her aunt was very demanding and not a believer.  Finally one day when this woman was trying to do her Bible study at home, the aunt asked what she was doing and said she might as well read the study out loud.  In that process the aunt became a Christian, and she and her niece became quite close.  Some time later the aunt was dying.  After several hours of being in and out of consciousness, the aunt opened her eyes and said in a very clear voice, “It’s all real!”, and then died.

That statement brought tears of joy to me.  Of course I know heaven is real, but to hear it from someone who actually saw a glimpse of it and shared it before leaving this life gave me greater hope and ability to keep persevering.

With that story in mind I thought again about losing my bike. I can honestly say that the first thought that came to mind was, “The next time I ride a bike will be in the new world.”  And that is exciting to me!  I don’t know what bikes will look like in heaven – maybe we’ll have something even better.  What I do know is that everything Scripture says about the new life is real, and as I live with the losses of many things, my hope is in all that is to come. 

Prayer: O Lord, how I look forward to the joys of eternity – a new and perfect world with You!  Help me to persevere in patience and maintain hope while I wait.  Amen.

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