March 11, 2021

Mar 11, 2021    Ron Mathre

Isaiah 64:4 For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.

If you are a Christian, I sincerely hope you are believing as truth, and holding the hope encapsulated in the verse above. I believe we have witness to this truth even in the physical world we live in. This week was my dad’s birthday, he spent the last 31 of them in heaven where time no longer places restrictions on him. He is 97 which, by today’s standards, is notable but not remarkable, I will do the math for you, he was born in 1924. I found myself pondering the impact of changes in our world over the years of his life and mine this week as I remember him.

He grew up on a farm, and I can remember him telling me how glad he was to see that last draft horse leave the farm as a young man. I’m relatively sure one of the reasons was that it eliminated a chore we politely call today, mucking out the stalls, as well as the need to groom and feed those animals. He more or less affectionately called them “Hay burners,” while they provided essential muscle around the farm, there was a lot of hard physical work involved in maintaining them. It was and is much easier to simply put fuel in the tractor tank, check oil and water level, and go to work. With that said I don’t want to minimize the labors of farmers today, it’s still demanding work, the challenges have changed over the years. I use the example of farming but, you can make the application in your life no matter your vocation. Please believe this, kids, there haven’t always been automatic washing machines, driers, and dishwashers. Once upon a time, and this is no fairy tale, all phones were attached by a cord to the wall, a computer was what the teacher called showing your work, and I was the universal remote control first for the garage door and then without a software update also for the television when we got one.

When I consider what God, in this period of grace, has allowed man to design, build, and accomplish just during my near 70 years on this earth, it is amazing. Some things, have made life more productive and brought great blessing; some however, because of His principle of allowing the rain to fall on the just as well as the unjust, (Matt 5:45), have made life more dangerous for all of us.

If I could have a conversation today with my dad, one thing I’m certain of is this, nothing I have to tell him would impress or hold his interest for long unless it was about how his children, grandchildren, or great grandchildren were doing related to arriving in heaven to enjoy what he is experiencing. I’m also convinced that he wouldn’t be able to tell me how wonderful that place is.

I can remember conversations with nonbelieving friends years ago when they would mock God, saying something to the effect of, “I wouldn’t want to go to heaven where you just sit around on a cloud, play a harp, and sing forever.” Can you honestly believe the creator of all that exists would have such an uninspired plan for the ones he paid so dearly to reconcile and redeem? No, I think there are some big and pleasant surprises in store and the reason heaven isn’t explained in greater detail in the Bible is that we simply couldn’t grasp them. As Jesus said in John 14:2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

As we move from winter and watch the wonder of spring, with the earth coming to life before our eyes, see it with the sense of awe deserved of our creator, sustainer, and deliverer. Romans 1:20 “For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.”

Colossians 1:16-18 “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.”

Looking forward.