“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:18 NIV)
By the time this article is posted, I will have just turned 40. Ordinarily, I am not a huge fan of making a big deal about my birthday, not because I don’t think it’s important, but I don’t typically celebrate in a big way. However, turning 40 has put me into a reflective mode whereby I have been thinking a lot lately about… death. Now before you think this sounds morbid or depressing, please let me explain myself.
As you are probably very aware, we are inundated with the reality of loss everyday via media—the recent limo crash in New York, the earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia, shootings, cancer, and a host of others we are unaware of. I sometimes think the constant barrage of death has made me feel numb to the reality of it.
But recently, as I have reflected on the loss of these people, I reflected on how they were living their everyday life just like I do, and I thought, if that were me, that would be it! That would be an end to everything I know and love here in this body. I would go to Eternity to be with God forever. The only trouble is, the thought of it doesn’t make me feel as joyful as I think it should. When I truly envision myself dying right now and leaving my new husband, my family, friends, church family, and the comforts that I cling to and love so much, I am deeply saddened. Frankly, I am still very fearful of death.
I am aware this is an issue I need to work out with the Lord with my faith and trust in Him, but now as I approach this new decade, I want to get to the place where I no longer fear death. I want a healthy view of the now and of eternity.
When I read scripture that talks about eternity, I don’t know if I really grasp what that glory is. “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18 NIV). I certainly wish I could, but I don’t. I know that our human limitations cannot understand the vastness of this future glory, but isn’t there a measure that I can really know now, that might make me excited to experience glory and not cling to all the good things of this present life?
Perhaps this is why Jesus called us to live by the Word of God daily (Matthew 4:4) so that we can consistently be reminded of what we are to do now in light of where we are going. One of our former Pastors, Mac Taylor, preached a sermon regarding what we would want our Epitaph to say when the time comes.
I know that I want mine to make God pleased and make him say, “Well done.” I can revive this intention now and pray for His guidance to help me focus on eternal matters more than on the circumstances of my life in the present. I don’t know when my time will be, so I want to make the rest of my time here count.
What about you? Are you ready? Are you living your life focused on what matters more for eternity, or for your day-to-day existence here? We all need help with this as our present circumstances seem all-consuming. My hope for myself and everyone would be to restore the joy and excitement that comes with living in the now but for the future glory. For us to get to a place where the fear of death is replaced by the limitless joy of anticipating what it will be like to live into the fullness of how we were meant to be with God forever.
Brandy can be reached by email here.