Yesterday, I offered Sam some dinner he didn't really want. "I better eat it so I can get well," he told me.
Getting well is not one of Sam's options, but I didn't argue. When he gets to heaven, he won't have to do a thing to heal his body. He'll be completely healthy when he arrives inside.
We've been reading about that beautiful place lately. Last night, we read through the "good" parts of the Revelation. River of life. Trees that bear a new crop every month. Leaves that heal nations. No tears. No sorrow. No sickness. It's an amazing place and Sam will be there soon.
"What do you want to see first when you get there, Sam?"
He didn't hesitate for a second. "God."
"You don't want to look for family?"
Sam looked bewildered. "No. I want to see God. Really, He's all there is. All that gold don't matter. It's just gonna be dust under our feet."
"What about second, Sam? What do you want to see next?" Since Sam loves to grow things, I thought he'd want to see the trees growing along the banks of the river of life.
"Well, I'd kinda like to see my baby that died, but I don't know how I'd recognize her. I think I'll be content if I just see God. All I really want is to be there." He leaned back on his pillow. That was all he had to say on the subject.
Sam condenses eternity into one simple truth: Being in the presence of God is all that matters.
The more I've thought about those words, the more I've realized their truth. If we understood this one principle, we might live a little differently. Maybe a lot differently.
If being in the presence of God is all that matters in eternity, (and it is) pleasing Him ought to be the most important thing now. The latest fashions, the cutest shoes, the fanciest food, the biggest house, the best of whatever our heart desires today...none of that matters.
The only eternal significance those things have is how much they take our hearts away from pursuing the paths of righteousness.
That truth stings a little, doesn't it?
Pause for a moment to consider the certain truth of eternity and the only thing that matters there - being in the presence of God. Consider, then, the life we should live now in preparation for eternity in God's presence.
Are we living a life that prepares us to see God?
Are we seeking to obey in all things?
Are we striving for less sin and more righteousness?
One day, we'll meet our God face to face. Neither the stuff we wanted nor the stuff we accumulated will matter a bit. The only thing of significance will be our relationship with Him.
Shouldn't that relationship with our Lord also be the matter of most significance now?
Let's take a look at our lives. On what do we focus? Men - do you love your wives as Christ loved the church? Women - do we respect our husbands above all others? Do we actively pursue righteousness? Forgive when offended? Love our enemies? Pray for our persecutors? Love our neighbors as we love ourselves? If Christ is foremost, we do.
If that's not how we're living, let's ask for forgiveness and make a fresh start.
As Sam has realized, eternity is a lot closer than most of us realize. We need to live ready.
"...and the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His bondservants shall serve Him; and they shall see His face..." Revelation 22:3-4 nasb
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