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Between the Alpha and the Omega

Between the Alpha and the Omega

It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. Revelation 21:6

When my children were little, like all children, they didn’t understand time as adults measure time. Minutes and hours meant nothing to them. So, on a long car ride, when asked how much longer, like many of you, we measured time in reference to their favorite TV shows – It will be three more Doras until we get there. Understanding that it would be three more Doras until we arrived at our destination didn’t make my kids any more patient though. Three more half-hours was still an eternity. They struggled with delayed gratification and so the eventual payoff of the destination simply wasn’t worth the long car ride. As their parents, we knew better and we were in charge, so they didn’t have much of a choice. They did however, let their protest be known –This is taking forever! As their parents, we knew this was the absurd impatience of childhood, but that didn’t make the feeling any less real to them. To them, a long car ride was forever.

In some ways, I’m still the child – particularly when compared to God’s perspective. Though I consider my understanding of time to be grown up, I’m sure that it is not. Like my young children, I’m profoundly self-centered and cannot see past my own myopic view of life and time. This was no more apparent than when at a funeral of a friend yesterday. Gone too soon. I know that of the nearly eight billion people in the world, 100% of us will die and that in the grand scheme of eternity, a few years isn’t a big difference. To loved ones though, it’s everything. I can know that she is in heaven – no more pain or sickness – and I can find comfort in that, but it also saddens me to know that her family will live the rest of their lives without her.

I do find comfort though, in at least attempting to look at things from God’s perspective. Like my young children, I lack the mental capacity to see reality clearly, but I can try. In today’s passage, God referred to himself as the A to Z, the beginning and the end. In God’s hand lies all eternity. Our individual existence is a tiny blip on that grand timeline. That tiny blip though, is everything to us and it’s not insignificant to God.

For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal (2 Corinthians 4:17-18).

Our view of time is, like my young children’s view, finite and limited. God is infinite and so, we struggle to understand his ways. He loves us though, and he has our ultimate good planned out for us. Though it may not seem like it now, he desires that which is eternally in our best interest – forever with him. Our problem though, is that we’ve never experienced eternity or the afterlife and so all we know is the here and now. We’re like my four-year-old kids on a car ride, struggling to understand a concept that is infintely beyond us.

God loves us and has prepared an eternal paradise for us. This takes a lot of faith to accept. What choice do we have though? We can’t change God or eternity. We can though, affect our own destiny. Though our time on this Earth is, in the grand scheme of things, a short time, how we live here affects our eternal destination. Though it seems far off, we can know God in this life, finding hope, joy, and peace in him despite life’s trials. And, we can know that, even though it seems like an eternity away, we will see our friend again in heaven one day.

God is the A to Z. We live somewhere between those two points, but God holds it all in his hands. Even though we can’t understand his ways right now, we can believe that he loves us and that he is planning that which is ultimately best for us.

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