When you are in love, you relish the moments you
have with your sweetheart and you count the days, hours, minutes and seconds
until you will see each other again. Your thoughts are constantly consumed with
the one you love. You wonder what she (or he!) is doing, what he (or she!) is
thinking, what she (or he!) is wearing . . . How long are the days that separate
Separation is always inevitable. After all, you can't be with your sweetheart 24/7! I remember a three-month separation that I was forced to go through when my fiancée went back to her California home to make wedding preparations. Those were hard times for us. We missed each other terribly. At the same time however, they were also good times. I realized this every time I thought about the fact that what she was doing was for me! That she was preparing the way for us be together forever!
During that time, we faithfully wrote to each other. I remember reading and rereading each of her letters, and I remember just how special they made me feel. I often would find myself floating on a dreamlike cloud, circling Los Angeles in my mind, as I would put myself into the activities she had described in her letters. It would be fair to say that my thoughts were focused on her and her alone!
The day we finally saw each other again was celebrated at one of the finest restaurants in town. Our wedding was just around the corner, and although she had described the wedding plans to me in detail, I found myself with my mouth agape at how meticulously everything had come together. Although I had tried to participate in certain decisions, in all honesty, my real responsibility was to show up at church on time!
Now that this unforgettable event is passed, I have to wonder why we, as Christians, are not more consumed by the wedding plans being prepared for us by the One who loves us so passionately? Didn't Jesus tell us: "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am." (John 14:1-3 NIV)?
What a powerful promise! And He is doing that just for us! He is preparing a place for us, a glorious one for sure, and once it is ready, He will come back for us! His purpose: For us to be with Him for eternity!
And He has meticulously planned our out-of-this world wedding celebration: "Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready." (Rev 19:7 NIV)!
Awesome wedding presents await us, specially prepared by the lover of our soul: "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." (Rev 21:3-4 NIV)
How come it is that we as Christians are not thrilled by these upcoming events? Why are we so consumed with daily worries and futile distractions? Why are our thoughts not obsessed by the One who is preparing our place in heaven? Why are we not thinking and dreaming more about what Jesus is doing for us in His celestial palace?
Why are we not more thrilled by the love letters found in His Word? Why don't we spend more time delighting in the presence of His Holy Spirit? What is so important that distracts us from our real calling?
Is it possible we have lost our first love?
"Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess." (Heb 2:18-3:1 NIV)
"Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands." (2 Cor 5:1 NIV)
May we wake up from our slumber and make this verse our reality: "Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed - that exhilarating finish in and with God - he could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever. And now he's there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!" (Heb 12:2-3 The Message)
No longer will we feel discouraged. No longer will we find ourselves hopelessly alone. No longer will tribulations devastate us. Once we realize that the lover of our soul is constantly with us, even while preparing a place especially for us, our fears will evaporate and come to nothing. Why? Because His love will sustain us! Hope is found in Him and Him alone! He is the only lover of our soul.
Soon He will be coming back for us. Are you ready to meet your Maker?
The Illustrator: This daily newsletter is dedicated to encouraging everyone to look towards Jesus as the source of all the solutions to our problems. It contains a daily inspirational story, a Bible verse and encouraging messages. HTML and plain text versions available.
The Nugget: Published three times a week, this newsletter features inspirational devotionals and mini-sermons dedicated to drawing mankind closer to each other and to Christ.