I have some friends that sing bluegrass and on their most recent CD, there is a line that sticks in my brain – “Can you imagine what awaits the redeemed?”
But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him”- 1 Corinthians 2:9
I have a pretty good imagination and yet, whatever awaits those of us that love Jesus, is beyond what our brains can dream. In fact, Paul, or some other guy, (I will let others fight about who it really was) had an amazing experience:
I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows. And I know that this man was caught up into paradise—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows— and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter. – 2 Corinthians 12:2-4
Don’t you wish that he could have told or uttered! Wouldn’t you have loved to sit and have a cup of coffee with that man shortly after his experience? So many questions could be instantly answered. Well, he didn’t say what he saw or heard, so we can’t know, at least completely. We get glimpses in the Book of Revelation, and also hints here and there in Scripture, but only a glance, and through a “mirror dimly.” (1 Corinthians 13:12)
But, think about that man who did see and hear for a minute after he had the experience. Do you think that he ever worried about anything ever again? Do you think that anything on earth would draw him away from what he saw and heard? Do you think he would ever forget?
Would money matter to him any longer? Would he care if someone was talking about him or if he was not part of the “in crowd”? So what if his 401(k) tanked or favorite sports team came in dead last. Would he be prideful of anything accomplished on earth? Would anything temporal hold his first love any longer? I doubt it.
Once he had tasted of the eternal, what is quickly passing away would not really matter too much anymore. God has prepared for us things that we cannot even grasp with our human mind, and we have a God-given longing for eternity! We know (or need to be reminded) what we see is temporary, a mere vapor. (James 4:14)
Jesus told His disciples not to worry, He was leaving, but He would return to take them to be with Him. In fact, He told them that He was preparing a place for them. (John 14:1-3) Perhaps this man saw a room or two of his dwelling place (mansion KJV). Maybe he only caught a glimpse of the streets made out of pure gold, or the huge pearls that are the doors to the city. Maybe he heard a trumpet or angel choir. Who knows, but we can imagine.
And, we can long for the eternal while we await our blessed Savior’s return. In the early church, they would often greet one another with the word Maranatha – O Lord come or come quickly Lord Jesus. Living under extreme persecution, the brethren placed their hope in the return of Jesus. We too can look for our Lord’s return. Whether He returns to meet us in the air, or we meet Him at death, Maranatha!
We are to be busy about our Master’s work until we meet Him again, but we must never lose sight of the eternal in the face of all our temporal surroundings. We all can dream, and we should. Can you imagine what awaits the redeemed?