by George Cargill, Author of In the Grip of God: Journey into Corinth
Nothing is forever except God and Heaven. That is a maxim I have learned to live with and use to form my world view. It is truth that redounds both to our harm and also to our ultimate benefit. If we have experienced the love of God and have received eternal life in Jesus Christ the end of life and the ultimate end of physical reality will be to our eternal profit. There is a family-owned restaurant that has been in my neighborhood for forty-five years. It has been a gathering place to eat home-style food and enjoy the company of friends. I wrote a good portion of a couple of novels while sitting at those booths. I would work undisturbed until the place would get too busy and the table was needed. I am really appreciative of that eatery. But after four and a half decades, the building is deteriorating and the owner is ready to retire. This morning there was an announcement at each entrance that the restaurant would permanently close in three weeks. The employees were in tears and all the customers expressed their sadness. But once again, life teaches me that everything material in this world, including flesh and blood, is decaying and will eventually disappear.
The same maxim of decay over time is also true of personal relationships. There is a table server who has worked at the restaurant for over thirty-five years. She is the best waitress that I have ever witnessed serve in any restaurant. Crystal has built friendly relationships with her customers over the many years of service to them. To those of us who regularly go into that place, she is like family. It is the only job she has ever had. I remember when she first started working after school waiting tables in her field hockey uniform. The main cook is a man who consistently produced good fare for everyone and sometimes would bring the food out himself to help when things were busy. I am sure I will see something of these two around the area but in three weeks things will become totally different. Today I am reminded that all human relationships are temporal and will come to an end.
Today is the most important day of the remaining days of my life because it has a greater percentage of time in relation to the time I have left. Besides, yesterday is gone. The uncertainty of life and its limited length tells me that today is the day to enjoy life. Today is the day to love our family with actions, not just with words. Today is the day to share with friends. Most importantly, today is the day for faith in God through Jesus Christ. Tomorrow, this world may go on without us.
This could all be very depressing if it were not for the hope we have in Jesus Christ. He came to live among us and share the human experience of joys and sorrows; pleasure and pain; life and death. In His resurrection from the tomb Jesus showed us that He has the authority over death and the grave. There is something beyond this decaying universe in which we can have hope. I can think about it until my head hurts, but I cannot conceive of any other hope than Jesus. This is His promise, “…I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die…”John 11:25-26 (NASB)
I have placed my faith and hope in Jesus. I cannot find confidence in the imaginations or visions of men whether seen in a hat or in a cave. Our only hope is in Jesus Christ. Receive Him today and follow Him faithfully according to the Word of God. You will have hope beyond the decay of this physical world and find a relationship of love that will carry you from this fragile existence into the life which is to come.