The year 2016 has arrived. Unbelievable! Well it was unbelievable when I was ‘in my prime’. Now I am much older the likelihood of me being around in another 40 years is definitely unbelievable.
But I am wrong – I have eternity to look forward to. I don’t know much about what I will look like or even feel like then but God has promised we will be with Him if we acknowledge Him as our Lord and Saviour when we pass from this world to the next.
When I was growing in my mother’s womb, I had little knowledge of what the world was like outside it – perhaps only feelings from what I picked up from sensing my mother’s own experiences although I would not be able to express it in words or even understand it. Some of these would perhaps be a love of classical music or elements of fear following a traumatic experience she had one day. Yes – I have been quite fearful at times!
In a similar way our ideas of eternity may be confined to what we can experience from our lives now and from hints from the Bible but may be very different when we get there! Just as a knowledge of what life would be like outside the womb was beyond my understanding, knowledge of what my life will be like in heaven is also beyond my understanding now apart from a few glimpses.
Will there be a golf course (where I play well all the time)? – probably not. Or large furry animals I can cuddle or bury my head in? Mmm?
One thing we can be certain of is that there will be no more weeping, anxiety or pain.
We are often so focussed on living this life that we may not see it as part of eternity. The days may go by quickly or sometimes drag but our time on this earth may seem to be of fixed length. Well it is of course but it was only a few months ago when I had a sense of being part of eternity. It was a strange feeling and didn’t last long. It was a bit like a straw in the wind – I had it and then it was gone but it was a beautiful sensation. It didn’t tell me what heaven was like but it did convey to me the sense that our lives here are just like a tiny fleeting moment in time. I have tried to recall the sensation but so far without success.
Some people try to fit so much into their lives but much of it is unimportant compared with preparing ourselves to come before Almighty God.
Are we ready to meet Him in His glory that would destroy us if we weren’t covered by pure white garments that we only wear because Jesus hung in our place on the cross, who paid the price to cancel our debt (our sin)?
Do we cringe with fear at the thought of meeting God or do we envisage running into open arms of welcome that Jesus made possible? Will Jesus run to meet us with joy just like the father ran to meet his repentant son in the parable Jesus Himself told of the Prodigal son?
We do not know what 2016 holds for us, we may not have a clear understanding of what heaven will be like but we can come to Jesus and receive the gift of eternity.
John 3.16 ‘For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but HAVE ETERNAL LIFE’.
And a quote from CS Lewis: ‘If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither.’

May God bless you – Jackie Long