In about 16 hours it will be exactly five years ago that life took an unimagined turn for Sue and I. Five years. Sounds like a long time ago, but in many ways it doesn’t feel that way. To be sure, given the events of that night and the initial prognosis, to be where we are today is evidence of the merciful, gracious, loving hand of the Father. And though we would wish that the disease uncovered five years ago was but a distant memory, that it continues to factor into daily life is still received as being from the hand of a good and loving Father.
Lots of ups and downs. Panic and peace. Fear and hope. But one thing that has not changed over the past five years, nor the past thirty-eight years, is the solid ground and stability found through the Scriptures. Through His revelation, God has repeatedly spoken, “Be still” to the storm and calm has returned. Again and again, His precepts and promises have counterbalanced what, at times, has felt chaotic and confusing. God is faithful. His mercies are new every morning. And, for me at least, so often those mercies are delivered as I spend just a few minutes chewing on His word in the morning.
These thoughts from 2013 on my reading in Hebrews this morning again help to steady the ship as they remind me of the glory to be revealed.
Sometimes you can get so caught up in the journey, you forget about the destination. In the midst of navigating airports and running to get to your gate on time, it’s easy to lose sight of what awaits beyond the flight. When entering your nth hour of driving and the kids are coming apart, you might wonder why you ever loaded up the car in the first place, . . . that is, until you get there.
And so, I’m reading the latter part of Hebrews 2 . . . a wonderful reminder of “the Founder” of our salvation . . . of Him who sanctifies by becoming our “merciful and faithful High Priest in the service of God” . . . of Him who destroyed the power of death by making “propitiation for the sins of the people,” by offering Himself as the means of reconciliation between sinful man and a thrice holy God. In order to do so, He partook of flesh and blood . . . He was made like His brothers and sisters in every way, yet without sin . . . He Himself suffered and was tempted in order to help those who are being tempted. The passage is so about Him.
But it’s also a little about us. Those He is not ashamed to call “brothers” . . . those He owns as “the children God has given to Me” . . . those who, through fear of death, were once subject to lifelong slavery . . . those who are in need of help as they suffer and are tempted . . . those “who are sanctified.”
We have a faithful High Priest who is ready, willing, and able to draw alongside those He has redeemed and assist them in the journey. But it was the reminder of the destination that also sent my spirit soaring this morning.
For it was fitting that He, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering.
(Hebrews 2:10 ESV)
While the itinerary for every believer might be unique . . . though the routes may vary . . . though the stops along the way might be different . . . the destination is the same. His intent is to bring many sons, and daughters, to glory.
It’s a reminder that this gig is just an opening act. That what lies ahead today isn’t the main event. That any plans and goals I set for this life are not the prize. This is the journey. The destination is glory.
Our destination is the place of glory, heaven. The finish line for the believer is the beginning of eternity in the place He has gone to prepare for us (John 14:2-3). We anticipate a city where the streets are gold . . . where a river of the water of life flows abundantly from the throne of God . . . where all things are new . . where there will never again be “mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore.” (check out Rev. 21-22)
Our destination is the possession of glory, the putting on of immortality. Where what has been sown perishable is raised imperishable . . . where what is sown in dishonor is raised in glory. Just as we bear the image of the first Adam, people of the dust of the earth, so too will we bear the image of the second Adam, the image of the Man of heaven . . . bearing a glory after the nature of Him who is glorious. (check out 1Cor. 15:42-49)
But most importantly, our destination is to be with the Person of glory, Him who is seated on the throne and the Lamb in the midst. The surroundings might become familiar over the ages . . . and I’m guessing we will get used to our new bodies after awhile . . . but forever we will delight anew in the presence of His majestic glory. Though we will be face to face, we will often go facedown in awe and worship. Though we walk the streets of gold our gaze will be set on Him who replaces the sun and moon. We will know His glory up close and personal!
In the meantime, we do the journey . . . through His help and by His all sufficient grace. But let us not lose site of the destination . . . the glory to be revealed!
What a day that will be! Amen?
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
(Romans 8:18 ESV)