To Be Continued

"Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing;" (Psalm 92:13-14) What does eternity look like? An infinite expanse in your mind's eye where time takes on a rut-like appearance and also extends out to the farthest of horizons (that's my mind's eye)? Is it something we can wrap our minds around here and now? Who knows. I'd say that eternity looks a lot like now. And now. And now. And. Now. A progression of moments wherein we may get the notion that something's coming up but also know, unlike now, that the thing known as "the end" never will.

Keeping on keeping on

"And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent." (John 17:3)

My dad would often refer to Jesus as "the living end" (he still does). That's a new one. I have yet to hear that in plain-spoken Christian parlance. But it's true. When you meet the Lord, you go on living. You go on. But, as Paul says "if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the spirit is life because of righteousness. (Romans 8:10) It is literally the righteousness of Jesus flowing through your spirit and keeping it alive. This is life eternal. Panning in from this homiletical and greeting-card-esque ideal (doesn't make it any less true), how is an infinite number of days shoehorned into our quotidian lives? Into lives that, at times and much to our chagrin, must be lived day-in, day-out one day at a time? Because if you believe and if you think about it, that's all it'll ever be. We'll ebb and flow through uptimes and downtimes and varied-feeling seasons until we reach "the highest ground" as Stevie Wonder once sang.

"lo, I am with you alway..." (Matthew 28:20)

"for He hath said, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee." (Hebrews 13:5b)

We need this. There will never be a time in our life where we're not being carried by the Lord. Where we don't have a persistent ache or nagging doubt or some stronghold with which we're faced that needs tearing down. Did you gain a serious and costly victory recently? Did you know that, as it is "your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." (Luke 12:32), you now are tasked with its upkeep and maintenance before the Lord? Anything God gives you is meant to continue. If we truly desire "Thy kingdom come", we must be willing to see our ideas as to what that looks like torn down and rebuilt. I can't tell you what God's kingdom manifest looks like in your life in any particular way only that if you are "faithful in that which is least" (Luke 16:10), you'll be equipped and prepared to handle "much". And that the fruits of the Spirit are growing in abundance (see Galatians 5:22-23)

Scaling down, scaling up

"And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you;" (2 Corinthians 12:14)

Paul knew. He allowed his body to be dragged around as his mind and heart were forever aflame with the presence and purpose and thoughts of God. In order to write what he did and disseminate it as he did, he had to have had the glow of eternity in view, knowing there was more than what he saw (and felt) at present. Taken to his logical conclusion, he knew he wouldn't escape. But he welcomed death. Not to sound morbid, but nothing on earth matched the glow of Heaven that was more-than-likely shining through his eyes and seeping out his person (Have you ever been around someone like that? "Of whom this world was not worthy" Hebrews 11:38). We are meant for more and I think we know this. But there is no upper limit with God. Let Him take you through each season and continue to expect more and more from Him. Not necessarily stuff, but Presence. Intensity and focus and breadth. These are things that scale with God, that continue.

"The Lord knoweth the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be for ever." (Psalm 37:18--David)

"So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom." (Psalm 90:12--Moses)