Friday, October 12, 2018

Is it today or tomorrow that we get that?

There is clearly a difference from being willing to learn and being excited to be taught. It was Winston Churchill who reminded us, "Personally I'm always ready to learn, although I don't always like being taught." We won't always like the topic we are learning, nor will we be in the best of mindsets to receive what is being taught. There are still going to be those 'lesson moments' when we hope to make it through relatively unscathed. We are just getting through it by the skin of our teeth.

What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole. (1 Peter 1:3 MSG)

In the meantime, there is a whole lot of discomfort on more occasions than we'd like as we are taught what it is we need to learn along this pathway called "life". We are headed to a life healed and whole, but along the way we might just discover how 'unhealthy' and 'broken' we really are. God isn't surprised by our desire to learn, and he is equally not surprised when we find ourselves feeling a little like life caught us unaware. He knows we have difficulty with staying focused, so he designs specific learning moments that help us to recognize how much we still have to learn and just how broken we are without his health making us whole again.

Many of us live for some time in the future. Don't believe me? How many of us have a retirement fund of some sorts set aside for the day we retire from our regular, day to day employment routine? Isn't preparing for our income at that time actually living for some time in the future? Today we are focused on all the things that need to be done and setting aside that little nest-egg for that day in the future when we won't have to punch the clock any longer. This isn't something God frowns on because he asks us to steward well all the increase he brings into our lives. Yet, there are places in our lives that remain untouched and unprepared simply because we see them as 'future' and not for the here and now.

The future starts now. God isn't preparing us in the flash of an eye for all he has prepared for us to enjoy in his presence - he is preparing us in the now for all that we will come to fully enjoy in the future. Today we see and understand only fragments of what we will come to fully understand in the future. This incremental growth in our understanding is the way we learn - not all at once. All God is doing today in our lives leads up to all that he has prepared for us in the future, but the future isn't really anything we 'put off' - it is embraced with each new breath!

It is Christ in us that brings us into our future - it is Christ in us that makes every moment of today an opportunity to learn something new - to see life through his eyes and not just our own. We get so caught up in the here and now, we miss some of the beauty of what he has prepared for us right now. We don't want to see some of these things because we don't 'feel worthy' of them. To that I simply say, "That's bunk!" We are declared worthy and we are brought into his safe-keeping. In that moment, we become students of his grace. This is a life-long journey into our full future, but we are living our future with each new embrace of grace in our lives. Grace made our future possible - grace brings our future into our today, also. Just sayin!