Sometimes, when I look at how hard I have struggled to only advance a step or two, I start to feel rather discouraged. As I look around me and see how far those who have put forth half the struggle, who barely gave 50 percent of their effort while I pushed my pain ridden body until it could not take another step, yet they are the ones with a comfortable home, family, and a job. And for all my persistence, my determination to give 100 percent so that I might reach my goal, I have nothing to show except a few bruises and an AA degree that can open no doors.
When I look at window and watch the cars go by, and think of all the dreams that will never be, of the family that I longed for, but will never know, and the country home that will never be mine, I must admit that for a moment or two, my heart drops, and hope seems so far away. As I look at my long list of failed dreams, and the success of others, I have to struggle to keep back the tears.
Why are others allowed to enjoy the fruits of their labor, and although I give my all, every attempt seems to end in utter failure? Why are my dreams always denied? Why cannot I find love? Why am I not allowed to have my own home and family? Why am I not allowed to have any real hope? Or is that the case?
As my broken heart looks upon the tattered remnants of my dearest earthly dreams, I am gently reminded to look up. To look up toward heaven and by faith behold the true hope. The hope that is free of sorrow and disappointment. The hope that is free of pain, suffering, want, and any taint of sin. To look up and by faith behold the wonderful day when sin will come to an end and as promised all my years of emptiness will, in one moment, be swallowed up, and transformed into an eternity of unending possibilities.
With tender love, the Lord reminds me that this life is but for a moment. The aches and pains that today seem like massive mountain of gravest importance, will one day prove to be nothing more than wind blown droplets of sand when compared to the amazing wonders that are waiting for us in Heaven. While the promise of our future joy does not erase the pain of the moment, if we look by faith to the future, trusting that God loves us so much that He would not let us suffer one unnecessary ache or pain that was not for our good or could be used to help others, we never need lose hope.
Because our true hope is not dependent upon the successes of this world. Our true hope is not tied to becoming rich and famous, in getting a magnificent car and home, or getting a five or six figure earning job. While these things are nice to have, they will not determine our ability to get into Heaven. No one will be turned away because they were not able to get a doctorate degree or buy a fancy car.
Little by little, as my eyes are directed away from my aches and pains, and my thoughts are drawn to the future joys, I slowly realize that I could lose every earthly dream, I could be devoid of every earthly hope yet as long as I have the hope of salvation, as long as my name is written in God’s book of life, then I have everything. Even if I never sold another book, if I lost the roof over my head, and ended up penniless on the street, if I had the hope of spending eternity with Jesus in heaven, then my dearest dreams have been fulfilled.
To human eyes it might seem like I was the most pitiful and broken of creatures, yet in reality I was blessed above the riches millionaire who, content with the baubles of this world had turned their back upon the free gift of God. For in a moment, when they think not, their joy will fade away. On that fearful day when the heaven’s are rolled back like a scroll and their eyes meet Jesus, what good will their millions, billions, or even trillions do? What good will their multitude of houses do when they face the Judge who cannot be brought?
Today they may have everything. With the snap of a finger they may be able to get anything that they want. And every whim or hope may come to fruition. But in the end, what will they have gained if they have traded away their soul? In that fearful day, if they have not made Jesus their rock of hope, when they come face to face with Him, and He says to them, I do not know you, what good will all their riches do? In that moment, will they look to their heavily filled baskets of dreams and rejoice, or in that moment, when they finally understand what they have given up, would they rather endure a lifetime of struggling to seemingly get nowhere, if it means that by the grace of God they will one day stand amongst heaven’s redeemed throng and enjoy ceaseless ages of wonder and joy.
When my eyes are focused upon Jesus and His amazing promise of salvation, my once enormous basket of unfulfilled wishes suddenly begins to shrink as by faith I behold the promise of eternal health, glorious gardens, walking streets of gold with the redeemed, talking with my guardian angel, and holding the hand that was scarred for me. Though I do not understand why I had to walk such a lonely path, why I had to endure so much heartache and disappointment, I can know for certain, that if my eyes could behold the beginning from the end, I would not want things any other way. And that one day soon, as I sit in my heavenly home, I will be told the story behind the story. And I will see my time upon this earth in a new light.
The aches and pains that seemed like such a burden will be shown to be teachers of patience and thorns that drew me closer to my Savior’s side. The heartache that brought forth a sea of tears, will be revealed to be a witness that opened the eyes of one who, because of my humble testimony, found the courage to take up their cross and follow my dear Savior. Bit by bit, I will be made to see that the seemingly empty years of my life were like the training ground that was the 40 humble years that Moses spent caring for his father-in-law’s sheep. Years that transformed Moses from the independent future Pharaoh of Egypt, who was ready to free God’s people his way, into the humble, yet fearless leader, who took all of his burdens to God.
Right now, I do not know why nearly every earthly dream has been devastated. I do not know why pain and illness have been allowed to keep me home bound. Why I could not have the blessings of friendship nor the comfort of true love’s strong arm to lean upon. But I do know that if I am faithful, and keep my eyes upon the greatest hope of all, the day will come when Jesus will knock on the door of my brand new, heavenly home, and ask to sup with me. And from His life giving lips, I will hear why I had to walk this path. And find out that the very time I felt so completely alone, He was there, holding me in His strong arms, and when hope seemed impossible, He was sending the host of heaven to my side to point my eyes upward. And in that moment, when every halting step, broken dream, and lost opportunity is explained, I will not regret one moment, because at last, my hope will have become an everlasting reality.