Every little girl's favorite story ends "and they lived happily ever after." The princess finds her prince. Everyone who we thought was dead is alive. Love wins. Kings are victorious. Those who were gone have returned and what was thought to be impossible, has come true.Sorry, little girls, but life doesn't work that way.You grow up. You put down the storybooks, put away the Barbies and join reality.
Wow, what a Debbie downer, huh?
Actually, no. Not if you have the right perspective. Not if you have the LONGVIEW. Right here, right now DOES have it's great moments. Reality isn't all bad. It might not be full of unicorns and waterfalls, but God infuses joy and pleasure into the world because he loves us. He wants us to find it. All blessings are from him...
The joy of a newborn child. Love. That delicious Thanksgiving meal. Dogs. The rollercoaster. The ocean. Vacation. Friendship. All gifts from God!
The only problem with these gifts is like the storybooks and Barbies, they don't last; they eventually disappear, either because we leave them or they leave us. Relationships last the longest, but never long enough as anyone who has ever lost a spouse, mother or a child can attest. However, this "reality" is not the end of the story. We DO have a "happy ever after." The key in that statement though is the word "after." The true happiness does not come in this time, in this world, in our lifetime. The true joy, the happiness that endures forever, comes in the "after." If you look with the LONGVIEW, you can catch a glimpse. Looking only right in front of us means we cling to the things that give us only temporary happiness. Sure, enjoy them, but clinging to them is dangerous for the heart. They will disappoint, die, disappear, be destroyed and we will be a slave to them while they exist and a prisoner to grief when they are gone. Look with the longview - look to the "after" and know that great joy is coming - joy and peace and pleasure that never disappears, a joy that has never known loss, a peace that has never known war, a pleasure that has never knows pain.
How is this possible? The joy in the now is but a dim reflection of the joy to come. The peace that is now is but a fragment of the peace to come. The pleasure that is now is but a brief burst of the pleasure to come. The fullness of joy, enduring peace and perpetual pleasure are only possible in the presence of the one who created joy, peace and pleasure. And while his Son, Jesus, came briefly into our "reality" and his Holy Spirit is here with us now in our hearts, someday, we will be in the loving presence of this Creator, the one holy God. Then, with all the others gone before us, we will live "happily ever after." Matthew 6:20I Corinthians 2:9John 3:16