Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Season(s) of a year or life (01/13/11)
TITLE: Are We Really Ready for Heaven?
By Hiram Claudio
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I think this is because seasons always change. Whether it is months on a calendar or moments through life, seasons bring change. And with change, we each are presented the potential to grow. Now not all change brings growth. Some change just brings … change. But with each season, we experience a wonderful opportunity to learn and expand our understanding of who we are and of the world around us … or not.
We long for the spring of life – when all seems possible and filled with hope. We enjoy the warmth of summer and the breezes we can feel under the stars on a summer’s night. Autumn brings with it changing colors and the closeness of good times with family and friends. And winter brings us even closer to the ones we truly love as we cuddle close to stay warm. Seasons do change. But with these changes comes our greatest opportunity to understand and appreciate the life God has given us.
But the reality is that much of the growth we experience through the seasons of life comes not from those pleasant pictures just mentioned but from the harsh realities we encounter. For the most part, we enjoy the sunshine and the good each season can bring. But it is in the pain and difficulties where we grow. Flowers enjoy the sunlight but experience much of their growth in the rain. We aren’t much different.
So life naturally is about seasons and growth. But where does that leave us when we think about … heaven? After all, it is life’s challenging moments that provide us the greatest opportunities to become stronger. But we are told that, in heaven, all tears will be wiped away. In heaven, there will be no more pain or sorrow. And unlike the seasons, our King of heaven is the “same,” … yesterday, today, and forever.
This can leave one very confused. Yet, the secret rests in a simple little truth we Christians often tell each other. It lies in our desire to … “be more like Him!” You see, as we become closer to the Lord and “grow” to be more like our loving Savior; we actually lessen, slightly, our need to … “grow.” I know that sounds like double talk but think about it. Getting closer to the Lord, growing in our faith brings us ultimately to a place where our need to “change” lessens. We reach a place where we can truly experience His kingdom “on Earth as it is in heaven.”
Now I know the ultimate fulfillment of this will not be seen this side of eternity. While on this side, we’ll all need to keep learning and growing. But as we try and safely navigate the seasons of the calendar (and of life), let’s remember that we are all moving towards a time, a “season” if you will, when seasons won’t matter. A time when the spring of your life will be just as amazing as its winter – and the need to label the seasons will become meaningless. And perhaps that is the greatest truth we can learn on this side … that if the labels won’t matter then, maybe they should matter less now.
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