My father was a good dad. As a young boy, I loved him, admired him, and trusted him. At age seven, I also lost him—he died of a heart attack one summer Sunday morning. Though there were plenty of happy moments in the growing-up years that followed, they emerged against a backdrop of emptiness and loss. My father was gone, and a great deal of my childlike trust in God might as well have been buried with him.
Years later when I was a young man, I had a dream. In my dream, my father was with me again, and I was bringing him up to date on what had happened in my life—that I had gone to college, graduated, and launched my career. His attention was undivided as he listened with interest, pride, and affirmation. So when I went on to tell him also about my brother’s and sister’s lives, he said in warmth and kindness, “I know. You don’t have to tell me.” A bit confused, I paused and said, “I just wanted you to know what else has happened in our family since you died.” Then with an assuring grin and his peaceful blue eyes, he replied simply, “I never died.” I immediately awoke with tears as warm as my father’s love and a heart daring to hope again in our God and His promise of eternal life.
There’s a whole lot we won’t know about the next life until we get there. No eye has seen it, no ear has heard it, and no mind has conceived it.1 But we do know this—life will be as we know down deep it is supposed to be. There will be no more mourning, for there will be no more death. There will be no more crying, for there will be no more pain. There will be no more heartache, for God will wipe every tear from our eyes. 2
We will finally realize just how much God loves us and how highly He treasures us. We will discover the magnificence in which He created us and to which He has already begun to restore us. For though we fall far short of his splendor, He is already at work, transforming us “into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” 3 Yes, we will again know the glory our loving God intended for us from the beginning, and in this hope we rejoice. For our hope is not the human notion of mere possibility or even optimism; our hope is the certainty of Christ. He who has fulfilled the promises of ages past lives today as our hope for an eternity of glorious tomorrows. He is our hope. He is “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” 4
When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3:4)
1 1 Corinthians 2:9
2 Revelation 21:4
3 2 Corinthians 3:18
[Read today’s Scripture in John 11:38-44.]
Today’s post is an excerpt from Christ in Me. Copyright 2016 Paul Nordman. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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