Independence Day is almost upon us. Thanking God for our country, our freedoms, and the brave men and women of the Armed Forces who serve and protect us that we might live free.
Today, let’s visit the sandy shores once more. This is becoming a beach series. The ocean seems to offer a great source of analogies for me these days. So grab your flip flops and join me in the sand!
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.
2 Corinthians 4:18 – NIV
Many years ago, I traveled to the ocean with two young cousins from Colorado. These young boys had not traveled to the East Coast before, nor had they seen the ocean. I remember the moment we emerged from the sand dunes, the shoreline spread before us. I heard the boys catch their breath in wonder as they stared out across that vast expanse of deep blue water. Then, one of the boys turned and asked in bewilderment, “Where’s the other side?”
Have you ever stood on the shoreline and gazed at the horizon, wondering where the ocean ends? What’s it like on the other side?
I don’t know about you, but that vast expanse of water stretching out across the horizon always makes me ponder. I know that this ocean ends at another land mass thousands of miles away. I know there are people playing on those sandy shores and looking out across the horizon.
I have read about the ocean in science books. I have traced the ocean’s outline with my finger on a world globe. I have listened to lectures describing the creatures that live in the depths of the sea and then, watched such creatures float before me in the waters behind the aquarium glass. I know these things to be true.
Yet, standing on the ocean shore, watching the deep blue waters fade into the distant horizon, I cannot see these things with my eyes. I cannot touch these things with my hands. I can only believe these things with my heart.
Heaven is like that. I have heard about heaven all my life. From the Bible stories of my childhood to my adult investigation of the Bible, I have learned about heaven. I have heard preachers describe it. I have read the scriptures that tell of its glory.
Yet, standing here, on this earthly shore, I cannot see heaven. I cannot touch it. I cannot hear the heavenly choir. I cannot verify the existence of heaven with my five senses. I can only believe it’s true with my heart. I have nothing to prove its reality. I just feel it in the depths of my soul, and that, my friends, is enough for me.
One day, I will stand on that heavenly shore and see it all so clearly. One day, the worries, losses and heartaches of this world will be washed away. On that day, my faith will become sight, for I will know and experience fully the beauty that awaits us on the other side.
For we live by faith, not by sight.
2 Corinthians 5:7 – NIV
O Lord God, let Heaven be real to us. Let the knowledge of its glory seep down deep within our souls. Though we are bound by the worries of this earthly life, open our hearts and our minds to feel the assurance of heaven. Thank You for sending Your Son to atone for our sins, to save us and make us ready to one day know the beauty that awaits us on Your heavenly shore.