“See the home of God is among the mortals. He will dwell with them; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them;
He will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.” Revelation 21:3-4.
I was in a spin class at the Y this week, when I was struck by how abruptly each song would end. We would be riding along to some techno beat of the Black Eyed Peas, or the like, when the song would just stop. It seemed as though the musicians had put all this energy and focus on getting the right beat, that they never thought how to finish their song. In a way, the end became an after thought; a nuisance. They succeed in the intermediate time, but failed to bring it to completion.
As I was sweating, it made me glad that we worship a God who has done the opposite. As the passage from Revelation states, God has the end in sight. And this end is far more glorious, energizing, exciting, and uplifting than any of the beats and experiences we have in the midst of life. God started with the end in mind, and the moved his way backwards into life.
His goal is to be with us; to wipe away the tears; and to bring an end to pain, despair and desperation. This is what He wants for and from us—to be with us. With that as a goal he has done everything possible—floods, burning bushes, whales, walking on water, healing us, even allowing His son to die in our place—to reach this objective.
Unfortunately, what that does mean is that the reality of life at this moment is that we will cry; pain exists; chaos, violence, destruction still have a prominent place in our society. But the good news is that since the end has already been established for each one of us, we can live with great hope to that end—God will dwell with us.
If we get so consumed, anxious and worried with today, then when the music ends it will just come to an abrupt stop. But if we strive to live into the hope we have, then life will build into the amazing crescendo as we witness in Jesus Christ, who though he was crucified, dead and buried, three days later came back to life for us.
Do you believe that one day God will dwell with us, wiping every tear from our eyes, removing the pain and mourning? How do you live that out? How might focusing on hope, rather than stressing about today change the way you live? Who is someone that has experienced the brokenness and abruptness of life that could use words of hope?