Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Messy Road to My Mansion

By Brenda Black

When it feels like the world is falling apart around you, it probably is. Everything is subject to deterioration. From boards to bricks to brains and bones, the world is aging. God created man originally to live forever. His intent was intimacy. Then sin entered the perfect picture and paradise disappeared into decay. Man morphed from a masterpiece made of clay to a dusty sinner in need of a Savior.

“For dust you are and to dust you will return,” is God's indictment. (Genesis 3:17b-19) Though the punishment was fierce, God's ultimate plan for glory never changed. He created us to live eternally in His company. So God sent that Savior – who conquered death and decay.

“...Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him as you yourselves know. This man was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. David said about him:

“'I saw the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will live in hope, because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay. You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with you in your presence.'” (Acts 2:22-28)

Though the world rots and we wither, hope floats above the ruin. A new day is coming. A new body promised. A new heaven. A new earth. For those who are in Christ, while they must physically waste away over time, the spirit antithetically gets more refined. “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” (Colossians 3:1-4)

I don't know about you, but just knowing that the mess I've been living in is going to be clean and shiny new someday, makes the intolerable a little less miserable. Crumbling houses, broken down cars, aching bodies and muddy lots are nothing compared to the glory that awaits me! But to get through the here and now on the way to the “Some Glad Morning” is going to take a little effort on my part. The key to rising above misery is calling down a bit of heaven to eclipse a whole lot of clutter and disappointment here on earth. Ephesians 1 is helping me get some perspective.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will – to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment – to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.” (Ephesians 1:3-10)

Until I get my glorified body and that mansion on a hill, I'm going to have to learn to love the mess called me and to be thankful for all of the aggravating little things in this world. At the very least, they make heaven seem all the more desirable and keep me pressing toward the prize!

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