It’s kinda weird how you can have measure of contentment and thankfulness and at the same time still want more. I think a certain amount of ‘pining for more’ is the nature of being human and wanting to create or explore something new is a good thing. Dreaming is healthy. There’s another kind of longing that comes from the human heart. “There’s gotta be more than this!” I think this is the cry that comes because you were made in God’s image but you don’t know Him well enough to know why you were created. I mean, “What’s it all for?” Is a legitimate question.
I love the Old Testament story of Rahab because I think when she saw the spies in her house who had come from the Israelites to spy out the city of Jericho in order to conquer it, her heart leapt. The only way she would’ve helped these two so quickly is that she was ready for change. After all, she’s called Rehab the prostitute, so I believe the cry of her heart was, “There’s gotta be more to life than this!” So when she met them, the voice in her head said, “Yes! This is what I’ve been waiting for!” So she hid them, she lied to the city officials and helped them escape! When her city was later conquered, she was able to save her family because of the promise she had made to the spies. Pretty exciting! Ultimately one of those spies, Salmon, married her and she is included in the lineage of Jesus.
It’s good to know that God understands that life on earth isn’t always easy. Jesus walked around in sandals; it was hot and dirty. He understands our hunger and longing because he too wanted good things for his loved ones. Longing with optimism is called hope. Hope is waiting with expectation. Just like my girl, Rahab, God is excited to fulfill your deepest soul-cravings.
Psalm 107 says, ”He satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry he fills with good things.” I here to tell you that his plans for you are good. He’s not a fraud nor is he hiding. His table is waiting for you and it’s full of gourmet food for you and the ones you love!
If you want more thoughts on Rahab and her friends, pick up my book, More Cake….
When I was asked to speak on the topic of afterlife, I was like “afterlife?” Why does that word sound so strange to me? What does that word even mean? I went on-line, it and as it turns out that word has many connotations.
So what we’re not gonna talk about is:
Viking notion of Valhalla.
We’re also not talking about zombies, vampires or the walking dead.
The I realized that the reason afterlife sounded so weird to me, it’s because where I come from we don't use that word, we use eternity, or Heaven.
The kingdom of Heaven is first referred to in Jesus’ prayer, "Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Jesus first introduced us to the Kingdom of heaven when ministered to people while he was here. He healed people, he was loving and joyful and pretty much was an example of all the fruits of the Spirit.
So, getting back to afterlife, what I found out was that in heaven we will stand before the throne of God in bodily form and give account for how we spent our lives.
“The I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it… and they were judged each one of them according to what they had done..” Revelation 20:11-13
Romans 14:10, and II Corinthians 5:10 also make reference to the throne of judgment.
Here’s the thing:
We as parents prepare our kids for success with piano lessons, soccer camps, and private tutors without batting an eye! We willingly spend on dance or karate lessons. We pray about auditions, tryouts, and competitions. We make sacrifices so that our kids will have the skills to be successful at whatever we want to reproduce whether it’s athletes, scholars, or virtuosos.
How much more does God want us to be successful when we stand before his throne! He sent Jesus to model the kingdom; He’s provided the Holy Spirit to teach us to pray. He’s provided life circumstances to teach us to call on his name, and given us relationships that guarantee that we will need to grow in mercy and grace.
All of this is so that we will learn to represent him on earth and store up rewards in heaven. That way when we see him, He will say, “Well done!” I think understanding that he desires to reward me makes me see the challenges I face through a new lens of understanding. I’m in his training camp and so are you! He is guaranteeing my success by providing opportunities for you and me to be his daughters and represent him here on earth. He’s gonna be so proud of us!