Friday, April 22, 2011

Are You Living With Eternity in Mind

          “Sue, you won’t believe this place!” I dreamed of hearing these words from my friend, Betty, who lost her fight for life after a brief illness. She’s now joyfully home with our Lord and her cheerful voice made me long to be in heaven. Images of Betty walking with God in the cool of the day replaced memories from a few days before when I held her hand in the hospital during times of excruciating pain. No longer would she experience the unbearable suffering—not because of death, but because of life, eternal life with Christ. He rose from death, victorious, and I’m convinced Betty did and so will all who believe in Jesus as their Savior.
While it’s fun for me to imagine my friend feasting under the Tree of Life or splashing her feet in the River that flows from God’s throne, you and I are left here on earth to finish the work He called us to do.  

Life Goes on in Heaven
Whatever we do for God, whether in ministry or daily tasks we perform as for the Lord, will last forever. Randy Alcorn says in his book, Heaven, that man’s creativity and technological advancement will not be lost in heaven. Could it be this is how God created us in His image? He says in His Word that His gifts and callings are irrevocable. Certainly, these skills will be necessary in the New Jerusalem, a city as high and wide as it is long (from San Francisco to Chicago—cubed). A city of this size will require workers—people with intelligence, skills and abilities.  

Set Your Mind on Things Above
Today God is not as interested in our work, as He is in how we live and show His love to a dying world. Jesus set an example for us. He wasn’t rich as we think of rich, but He fed the hungry, healed the sick and helped the poor. We may think the need around us is too great, but Jesus fed a huge crowd from a boy’s lunch. The boy gave what he had and Jesus multiplied it. I’m amazed how this principle works in my life—that whatever time, talent or resources I offer, God multiplies for His purposes. When I visit or pray for the sick, teach a class, give monetarily or by a word of encouragement, God keeps giving to me so I can keep giving to others.
A few years ago, my friend, Shirley, modeled Christ’s love to me when I fell at work. I didn’t know the fall broke my hip—just that I couldn’t get up. Tears of fear welled up in my eyes. Shirley surprised me when she lay down by my side. Patting her outstretched arm, she said, “Rest your head here and don’t worry about a thing!” She stayed with me until the ambulance came. Shirley’s demonstration of Christ-like love motivates me to find ways to show God’s love by being vulnerable and sensitive to other people’s needs. At our Lord’s glorious appearing, I hope He finds me busy so He will say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” 
          Thank you, Lord Jesus, for making a way for us to be with you forever. Thank you for the hope of never having to say goodbye. Amen.


Peggy Blann Phifer said...

This is lovely, Sue. Comforting, encouraging, and a blessing. Thank you so much.

Elizabeth M Thompson said...

I need to put Heaven in my to-be-read stack. I think some of my ideas about Heaven come more from tradition and culture than Scripture. Hmmm. Thanks for the challenge. And the sweet story of your friend Shirley.

Sally Chambers said...

Your little "Reactions" boxes don't go far enough, Sue. I would have checked heartwarming, wonderful, uplifting, and more.

What Shirley did for you was so precious and a reminder for me to find more ways to love.

Blessed and Happy Easter, Sue, and thank you.

Pat Rowland said...

This is a beautiful Easter story, Sue. I've never read a better example of a friend's love than that of Shirley. I'll bet you have other stories of her we would like to hear. ??

Sue Tornai said...

Thank you, Peggy, Beth, Sally and Pat! Your sweet comments blessed my day. May you experience God's amazing love this Easter weekend.

Jeanne Doyon said...

Thanks for this, Sue. I am blessed.


Sue Tornai said...

Jeanne, you are welcome. Thank you for your kid comments. May you experience the amazing love of Jesus on Easter.

Sue Tornai said...

Jeanne, I meant thank you for your kind comments. Happy Easter!

Unknown said...

Thank you for sharing a loving story about God's love for us. Happy Easter to you.

Sue Tornai said...

You are very welcome, Pam. I am glad you visited my blog.