How are you doing? No really, how are you doing? Are you living each day with joy, satisfied by all that God is for you in Christ? Are you struggling with burdens that just don't seem to go away no matter what you've tried? Maybe your dreams, your marriage, your career, or your ambitions have crumbled around you. Maybe you're discouraged, depressed, or have simply lost all hope. Where can you turn?
One place we should all turn in moments (and if we're honest it is more like SEASONS) of discouragement, hopelessness, and pain, is the glory of Heaven. A biblical understanding of the truth of Heaven can change the way we live life.
I was reminded of this amazing real-life illustration while rereading parts of "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn a few days ago.
"In 1952, Florence Chadwick stepped into the waters of the Pacific Ocean off Catalina Island determined to swim to the shore of mainland California. She'd already been the first woman to swim the English channel both ways. The weather was foggy and chilly, she could barely see the boats accompanying her. Still she swam for 15 hours. When she begged to be taken out of the water along the way, her mother, in a boat alongside told her she was close and that she could make it. Finally, physically and emotionally exhausted, she stopped swimming and was pulled out. It wasn't until she was on the boat that she discovered she was less than a half a mile away. At a news conference the next day she said, 'All I could see was the fog...I think if I could have seen the shore, I would have made it.'"
Alcorn writes, "Consider her words: 'I think if I could have seen the shore, I would have made it.' For believers, that shore is Jesus and being with Him in the place that He promised to prepare for us, where we will live with Him forever. The shore we should look for is that of the New Earth. If we can see through the fog and picture our eternal home in our mind's eye, it will comfort and energize us."
So, if you're weary and don't know how you can keep going, look to the shore. No matter how tough life gets, if you can see the shore and draw your strength from Jesus, you can make it. So let's fix our eyes on Jesus. Let's gaze upon that "restful shore" as the hymn writers have called it. Let's encourage one another as the writer of Hebrews says as we see the day drawing near, the shoreline getting closer (Heb. 10:25). The fog of the chaos, sin, pain, and trials of this life can be paralyzing. But it only lasts for a moment and is not worth being compared with the glory that will be revealed (2 Cor. 4:17). We're in this tempest for a moment. We will be home, safe on dry land for eternity.
Can you see the shore?