Friday, April 14, 2017

Craving for the Final Chapter

     She felt it in the glory of the mountains. She heard it in the complete melodic unison of a worshiping choir. She felt it in the deep prayers of devoted friends. She saw it in the sparkling stars in a vast, dark sky. She glimpsed it in the quiet peace of dwelling in the Lord's presence. 

Heaven.

     "What a glorious place that will be!" She thought that often throughout her seemingly repetitive life. While so many people imagine heaven like a silly cartoon with angels playing harps while floating on clouds, she saw it as something rich and colorful. Just as the earth is a dimmed reflection of God, so heaven would be a bright and glorious place where God resides! She deeply desired, craved and longed for the final moment when she could finally see the Lord at last. She could finally bow down before and yet also embrace her Lover, Savior, Redeemer, and Author. All would be completed and yet all would just be beginning. Death would be the final sentence of one chapter and also the transition into a new one. What a wonderful day that would be!

 "Is it wrong for a Christian to desire to die?" 

     She wondered this while she was slicing cucumbers at her job. "Is it wrong for a child of God to desire to see Him finally?" The Bible states that in the end our faith will be made manifest and real before us. That which we cannot see now will be brought into the light at last. She wanted that with all of her heart. 

     She admitted to herself that it was also a desire to escape. Some days she was so fed up with how sinful and cruel the world was. It annoyed her that she was drenched suffocated in sin and that she wouldn't be fully able to worship or obey the Lord without it on this earth. She could imagine what the finished product of Rebekah would be like once it was completed. She just wanted to skip the refining and assembling step and get to the final result. Why couldn't life just be like buying a new book and skipping to the end page to see if the conclusion was a happy one? After all, Revelation is the final chapter. Why couldn't God just fast-forward to that part?

     Then she remembered that if you skip to the end of the book you would never truly appreciate the journey of story. The best stories are always the ones that are filled with hardship but completed with triumph. The purpose of mankind is to glorify God and what better way to do that than for Him to orchestrate a remarkable story through each and every character? 

     Her tale wasn't over yet. 

     Although she liked to think that she had already impacted a lot of people for the Lord, she was selling herself short to the potential that could be in store. Although she craved the final chapter, she really didn't know what sort of character development needed to happen in order for that last part to be the richest it could possibly be. Although she assumed God could still impact people without her, she forgot to take into account that she was specifically designed to touch peoples' lives in ways that only she could do. 

     The desire for heaven and for the final product wasn't a bad thing. In fact, it gave her joy and hope throughout the day. However, she couldn't let it cloud her view of why she was on earth in the first place. God wasn't finished with her yet. He doesn't create extras, background characters, or minor roles. He is glorified through each and every person in extremely specific ways that only they can bring out. It is why we are all still here. We are not done yet! 

     If you have struggled with longing for an end, I implore you to remember that God isn't finished with you yet! He determines the length of our days and the number of the last heartbeat. Look forward to the final chapter, but don't let it overshadow where you are now! You might miss the whole point of what He is trying to teach you! Carry on and live out His story in whatever way He has given you! 

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