Time marches on, and we feel the weight of it day by day. It is the same in each season of life. The pressures of the day may feel like they will never end, but the years fly by with alarming speed.
Just about the time we think our babies will never sleep through the night or learn to use the potty, they have suddenly grown taller than we are, and know everything about everything.Supervising homework and being a taxi service is never-ending, and then suddenly we’re dropping off our youngest at college.
Work goes on and on and on in one form or another. When will the day be over? Then one morning we don’t have to go to work anymore, and we realize this is what we wanted to be when we grew up—retired! Retired is awesome!
Now we watch and enjoy every step of our children’s and grandchildren’s lives because we are seeing again that it goes by so quickly!
It can make us wonder if we did it right, this life thing. Did we teach our children what we should have taught them? Did we pursue every opportunity or let some slip away? Have we served and made this life better for other people? Have we been faithful to the God who gave everything for us?
I love the seven letters to the seven churches in Revelation chapters 2 and 3. I think each one holds something for us. If we ask Him, God can show us places where we’ve been weak or strong, and He will be faithful to show us where to go from here.
He reminds us of the first love we had for Him, how we have let it slip, and how to repent and return to Him. He has seen every bit of our hardship, pain, and lack whether others were aware of it or not. He promises His strength and spirit to help us face whatever the future may hold without fear. He points out where we’ve been faithful to Him and where we’ve compromised with the world. He sees every motive. He knows whether our hearts hate sin or excuse it. He knows whether we hate people or love them. He shows us if we are spending our time on dead busywork and calls us back to His purposes. He wakes us up. He understands our limited strength. He commends passionate patience and a firm grip on all He has put in our hands and hearts. He opens our eyes to see our true condition and neediness that we may come to Him and receive His abundance.
We find that this life, with all its time constraints, is not the true measure of our worth. It is a training ground for the eternity we will spend with Him. We may feel that we haven’t accomplished much or been the world-changers that others have been. True enough, but we were never meant to compare ourselves with anyone else.
The lives that our Lord commends in these chapters are open to each of us. The rewards of repentance and faithfulness listed here are beyond measure. He promises Life, Hidden Manna, New Names, Authority to Rule, the Morning Star, Dressed in White, Marching in the Victor’s Parade, Presented by Name to God Himself, Crowns, Open Door that No One Can Shut, Safety in Testing, Pillar in His House, Permanent Place of Honor, Riches from Him, Clothed by Him, Opened Eyes, Healing, and Seated at His Side.
All this is promised to those who repent and overcome by His life in us. These are our titles and possessions as we walk with and abide in Him. In this life, they are imperfect and limited according to our need and His will. But this is just the training ground, a short blip on the timeline of forever. This is our identity and heritage in full perfection and wholeness for all eternity. We have no idea what position His is suiting us for as we walk the path of this life, but He is putting all the pieces in place for all of time. He truly has prepared more for us than we could ever ask or think!
Revelation 2-3; Ephesians 3:20-21