Hi everyone. Rob here.
We’ve just had an election here in New Zealand. It was peaceful and for that I’m grateful. However, under our system of proportional representation we have been left with an uncertain outcome. Our government will be decided by negotiations and we, the voting public, must now wait while the process is completed. This is our world. We live all the time with uncertainty, incompleteness, partiality and unfulfilment. The holiday always comes to an end. You pay one bill and another one arrives. You survive the broken sleep of infancy only to be confronted with the ‘terrible two’s.’ Good health gets interrupted by illness. Loved ones die. The beautiful meal always comes to an end. You get the picture. However, maybe these things aren’t a sign that life is hopeless, but a sign that our hearts were indeed made for something more.
When I visited the Grand Canyon in 2014 I could have sat staring at it for hours. I had a similar experience at Yosemite National Park and at Lake Wanaka and Raglan. Those places of beauty call to me and call out of me a deep longing for eternity. When I’m with friends, sitting around a fire with good food and drink, surrounded by laughter and stories, I long for the great feast when the saints will share their tales. When Roy Bittan plays the beautiful first notes of Bruce Springsteen’s epic Jungleland something in my heart comes to life. We are made for something more and that more is eternity in God’s kingdom.
Both my children won soccer tournaments over the weekend. We’ve all seen the joy of our sporting heroes holding trophies aloft and the feeling was similar for our kids. But the feeling didn’t last. Honeymoons give way to the hard work of actually living with another person. The joy of holding a newborn baby gives way to parenting. There’s a joy when we come to Christ and discover grace, forgiveness, mercy and love. But the hard work of following Jesus in an unsaved world can feel unfulfilling. It can feel like the promise of new life hasn’t been kept. But it’s not our lived experience that tells us our future; it’s the ache and the longing that does.
So we must celebrate soccer wins and good music and a great meal with friends. We must rejoice in those sacred moments of intimacy with our spouses. We must soak in the glorious vistas of God’s creation, because they are a glimpse into eternity. They are a taste of home. In the meantime life is hard, unpredictable and incomplete. We are not home yet. We’re sleeping in tents and eating off scraps in comparison to what awaits. But camping can be glorious. Our incomplete life still contains beauty. Being loved partially is still an experience of love. Life is still beautiful and God is still with us. That’s the point of Jesus. He entered this partial life and says I will carry the scars into eternity. Follow me and bring your scars. All will be redeemed. All with be rescued and all will be made new. In the meantime Love God, love your neighbour, love life itself and carry on.
Grace and peace everyone.