I’ve been really struggling these past few weeks, trying to think of what to share with you, and then realized, that sometimes, its good to share an old truth with a new spin. In today’s world, there is so much compromise with regard to faith in Jesus, that I was reminded of this post from 2013.

You see, I get so used to substituting one thing for another, just to get by, that I forget what was meant to be, I forget my hope. Does that happen to you or are you wondering what I am talking about? Please read the extracted post below, and then continue reading as I finish my thoughts …

This week we also shared a meal. It was a bit more interesting. The pastor’s wife served some kind of concoction made with rice, green beans, dates, and… whatever. But the interesting part was yet to come. Out came a pan of mashed potatoes, a jar of mayonnaise, and a loaf of bread. She cheerfully spread her bread with mayonnaise, added some potatoes, rolled it up and ate it, showing us all how to eat her Chinese version of… oh no, I’m not going to tell you—yet.

She turned to me and said, “It’s good, isn’t it?”

I said I preferred it without the bread and mayonnaise, but seeing others bravely give it a try, I went for some of the mayonnaise.

Interesting.

She sat back smiling, happy that everyone seemed to be enjoying the meal.

“I didn’t have time to go shopping,” she shared. “I had wanted to have Bourekas to go with the meal, but no time. So I thought, OK, bread, mayonnaise, potatoes. Just like Bourekas, good yes?”  …

And as I think about this I realize, there is nothing like the REAL thing… in food and in things of the spirit. How thankful I am that I belong to the REAL God of creation, and have hope in His real promises. …

Read the Entire Post: Instead of What? – Hope for the Hope Challenged

Adam and Eve Remembered the Garden

Have you ever wondered what the Garden of Eden really looked like? I have to be honest, I just picture a bunch of trees and grass and animals, with a naked man and woman wandering around enjoying it all. But the garden was far more than that. It was amazing perfection, designed for the man and the woman, with the purpose that they would rule over it wisely and well. I do imagine that ultimately, their rule would have extended beyond the garden to the rest of the world… but we don’t have that story to look at.

They sinned and were cast out of the garden. They had to make do with a harsh substitute for the life they were made for. But here is my point—they never forgot what they had lost. But they had to live with a substitute.

We Live in a Substitute and Rarely are Aware of It

We on the other hand are thousands of years and generations removed from Adam and Eve and the garden. The garden has become an ideal that we might perhaps long for, but it certainly isn’t a part of every breath we breathe, and all we do, with a whispered sigh in the background, “I remember…

And so we are quite satisfied with the status quo. Yet, deep in our hearts we all long for something more. A something more that we don’t even know how to define. The writer of Ecclasiastes tells us what that something more is…

“But though God has planted eternity in the hearts of men, even so, many cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.”                             (Ecclesiastes 3:11 TLB)

Think about it. He has planted eternity in our hearts. That something more we long for is not the substitute but the reality. Somtimes things are going great, and we still long for something more. Sometimes things are truly awful, and we find comfort in a dream for a vague something better. But we are longing for the eternity God has planted in our hearts.

What we do not want is bread with mayonnaise and mashed potatoes!

 A Thought to Close With

So I would like to encourage you today. So many people tell us that Jesus fills our every longing. Yes, He does, all except one—for now. That longing for eternity. He has promised those who belong to Him that when we die we will be with Him, and that at the end of all things, there will indeed be a New Heaven and a New Earth where every longing will be assuaged. A perfect society living in a perfect world with a perfect ruler who loves us.

Think about Adam and Eve… how they must have longed to go back, but they knew they could never go back. What a bitter taste. But now, think of the God who loves you and me, and who wants us to be with Him forever, and that wonderful home He is preparing for us. May the wonderful anticipation of that DAY, help us get through the mundanity of every day life, the ups and the downs that all seem to make us hungry for something more.

For Further Reading

[biblegateway passage=”Revelation 21″]

 

Heaven by Randy Alcorn

I’ve been thinking about my longings lately, and need to be reminded of where my true home is. So I ordered a new copy of “Heaven” by Randy Alcorn. I had read it years ago with Rich, and then gave my copy to Judy before she too moved on to her heavenly home. It was encouraging to me then and is encouraging to me now. To save you time, I’ve put the links in below.

Amazon: Hardcover | Softcover | Kindle

Book Depository (free postage): Softcover | Hardcover