Monday, November 19, 2007
It floats in the air....
As a little girl, the words to that song always sounded so strange. What did it mean?
Eternity can be frighteningly big and long and weird to think about... Especially if you don't know what eternity holds for you.
Most of my life, I haven't worried about eternity - for myself, anyway, because I settled that question as a very little girl.
I can confidently say:
Upon a life I did not live, Upon a death I did not die,
Upon another's life, another's death,
I stake my whole eternity.
Every time I quote that, the enormity and wonderfulness of the statement sends a thrill through me!
That word eternity also sends shivers up my back in a not-so-happy way when I think of many, many people who I know and love who do not love the One Who gave His life for them.
A few weeks ago, I was spending the night somewhere with a friend. I woke in the night and rolled over, seeing her sleeping form in the next bed, and a sadness drifted through me. I couldn't go back to sleep as I pondered the reality of her, now peacefully sleeping, someday oh, so soon, facing a Holy God to Who she will give account of every deed and word. Some such words she had just uttered that afternoon - an affront to the God who has long sought her and loved her.
She's a wonderfully sweet, intelligent person, one who I love dearly and would do anything for. And yet, her life, her actions, and yes, her very words, mock her Maker every day. She has created a god of her own imagination - one that is happy with whatever she chooses to do.
I spent awhile agonizing over where she is currently heading as she faces eternity, and then praying for her until I fell back asleep.
The next day I was reading a booklet which had an article entitled, "The Cry of the Soul of the Damned."
These lines just jumped off the page at me:
Why was intelligence given to me, that I might take care for my immortal soul,
and yet I did so little with it?
Why was reasoning given to me, yet I made light of any preparations for my future?
I was made with an immortal soul, and yet I lived as though there was no eternity...
Sometimes I hear non-Christian people say, But your God is so harsh. There is no room for anything but heaven or hell. Why would a good and loving God send people to hell... especially people who have lived good and decent lives and never hurt anybody?
In recent days, I've read a couple of quotes from various books that have spoken beautifully to this line of thinking:
~We are all sinners, from toddlers throwing temper tantrums to adults in road rage. Sin is rebellion against God - His laws, His provision, His Word. Sin is shaking our fist in the face of a perfect, holy, just, and loving God, and telling Him that we don't want to be told what to do.
~Blame was the second sin. Adam fell by eating the forbidden fruit, but he cut himself off from restoration when he blamed God for giving him the woman who "caused" him to disobey. May we take responsibility for what we, the human race, have done (read the paper any day for a sampling of what we are like, or think back through your own failures!), and give God the glory for what HE has done (read the wondrous offer of salvation to sinners!)!
The greatest truth is that God is not severe -- sin is severe, and mankind is cruel.