THE ABIDING LIFE
Glasses, the Gym, and Heaven
By Gwen Sellers
Recently I had to wear glasses instead of contacts for a few days. This meant that during my morning workouts I went without anything to correct my vision. Glasses getting all sweaty and bouncing around is just not appealing … I'm now back in contacts and grateful for restored vision, but I did gain some insights from my naked-eye experience.
My near-sightedness meant that, while I could make out people and large movements, I could not see the clock. I found myself walking up closely to the clock in the locker room and then cementing the time in my mind before warming-up prior to a group class. It's a good thing I chose a cardio machine with its own timer—right up close where I could see it. Finding myself with a few extra minutes, I wanted to make the most of it and lift some weights. I tried to nonchalantly go to the weight set nearest a clock and not squint too hard as I confirmed the time. Aside from learning that I am very clock-dependent, what does this experience have to do with anything?
I couldn't help thinking about 1 Corinthians 13:12. It says, "For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known." The trajectory of life is kind of like being at the gym without your contacts or glasses. You know what's going on to some extent. You know your current situation and what has happened in the past. You may have an idea of how it's all working together, perhaps a hint at what your future holds. But the image is fuzzy at best. Only when God reveals the details to us do we really see what's going on.
A few days later, I received a question about whether Heaven would feel like a dream. Would it seem less real to us? I had only to think for a moment until 1 Corinthians 13:12 came back to mind. Here's what I responded: First Corinthians 13:9-12 says, "For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known." Jesus said He came to give life to the full (John 10:10). Though life in Christ is abundant while on earth, it will be even more so in Heaven. That is the true fullness. First Corinthians 2:9 says, "What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him." Ephesians 3:20-21 says, "Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen." All of these verses lead me to believe that rather than being a sort of unreal dream, Heaven will be the most real thing we have ever known.
Could it be that everything about our earthly lives is like being at the gym without glasses? Sometimes God brings us up close to the clock, allows us to see with more clarity what He's up to and who He is. But most of the time we experience but a taste of who He really is. Life is only a shadow of what is to come. Ephesians 1:13-14 says, "In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory." The guarantee is pretty great, how much more so the full inheritance?
What excites you most about knowing that God has more to reveal to us than we could ever imagine?
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Published on 7-12-13