After these things, I looked and behold, a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands, and with one voice they were saying, “Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” and all in heaven worshiped God saying, “Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever Amen….” They will hunger no longer, nor thirst anymore; nor will the sun beat down on them, nor any heat; for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes. (Revelation 7:9-10,16)
There is an ‘after these things’ that I look forward to – a time when all will worship the only God that is or was or ever will be. He will be recognized for who and what He is. His character was manifested in a living breathing human being at the incarnation or birth of Jesus Christ who is the Lamb/Shepherd. I read these verses and it seems so impossible that the future holds such a different experience. Yet in my life I have found the words of God to be faithful and trustworthy, so I hold fast to the hope that is within me.
My body is aging and comfortable positions last short periods of time, my eyes have trouble focusing, my knees are stiff when I squat down, my skin is thinning and my veins protrude. My sister and mother-in-law battle cancer’s aggressive attacks within their own bodies as well as the ‘cure’ which is equally damaging. My friends and family members are struggling with serious marital issues which throw their whole lives into chaos and their children into fear and insecurity. War and rumors of war are on every news program both locally and globally.
So, how could I not long for a future with my God who is glorious and wise and honorable and powerful and mighty forever and ever? He loved me so much that he has already caused my hunger and thirst to be satisfied in HIs presence and His word. His love has freed me from fear and given me a purpose and a hope. The person of His reflection, the Lamb, will greet me physically one day as I stand in His presence, not because I am worthy to, but because He paid the price for me to do so without shame or fear – although I am sure there will be some trepidation in my limbs in such a Presence.
The ‘after these things’ has already begun from the inside out. Though outwardly we are wasting away, inwardly we are being renewed day by day. One day that transformation will be complete. My mortality will be swallowed up in immortality. Death will be swallowed up in Life.
As I regard all that I am thankful for, and prepare to celebrate the incarnation of the one I call ‘Savior’, I am eagerly looking to the skies for His second appearing. For the day in which the sun will not rise and the stars will fall to the earth. Not because these things sound pleasant, but because of what will happen ‘After These Things.’ He will come back and I will be waiting to greet Him! Will you?
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for the glorious future You have planned for us, Your children in Jesus Christ. We eagerly look forward to Your return and the ‘things’ you have in store for us in glory. We praise You for the promise of a future with You sealed by the Holy Spirit which indwells us. You are our King and we long for Your Kingdom to come. Help us to live each day in light of the hope You have given us and to fix our eyes on Jesus Christ the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross (Heb 12:2). We too have a perfect joy set before us. Come Lord Jesus. Amen.