Adventures in Missing the Point
September 15, 2023
I came so everyone would have life, and have it fully. John 10:10 CEV
Picture this. A young man tells a young girl he loves her inexplicably and wants her for his own. He promises faithful love for a lifetime. He vows to meet all her needs and be with her daily. He knows her love for the sun, sand, sunrises, sunsets, and soft breezes of the beach. He promises her he will never forget that desire, and even covenants that when they retire, he will take her to the beachfront home of her dreams he will be constructing throughout their life for her. She is delighted and their marriage starts with joy.
However, things slowly drift off purpose. She complains and neglects the home she has now. Frequently she stalls out on caring for the children, daydreaming about that home she’s going to have some day. She never doubts her husband—he loves her, and she knows he’s building the home. She thanks him almost every day for doing that, but pretty much runs her own schedule, doing things without him. She doesn’t relate to him deeply, doesn’t seem to long to be with him in the here and now. She figures they can more than make up for it when they retire together in that great home. She does talk about her retirement home from time to time but seems more excited about seeing family and neighbors who also are planning to retire there than being with him. Slowly her husband begins to realize, “She has missed the point. That home is intended to be the reward and blessing of a life lived daily and deeply in love. That home is not the point of our marriage. But she has made my promise more important to her than I am.”
That fable is so far-fetched it was hard to write. No one would believe a sane woman would respond that way to a husband so wonderful and loving. She would love him daily and concentrate on life here and now. Her husband is meeting her needs now, her closest and best support. She would find her deepest fulfillment in caring for their children and being a partner in their family mission. The main attraction of their retirement home would be that he was building it especially for her and that HE would be there. Everyday life with him would be the number-one priority.
Yet that very easily becomes our life with Christ. We’re deeply grateful and excited that He is preparing a heavenly home for us, and we make that the point—going to heaven. The early church, the disciples, did not think that way. Their amazing joy was that Jesus Christ was risen, alive forever! He was with them in the here and now. They lived every day in the wonder of His presence. In fact, they didn’t talk about heaven except in passing, simply stating their confidence and joy. Their focus was walking with Him here, fulfilling the mission, living lives that honored Him. HE was their reason for how they lived, not getting to be in heaven with family and friends again. That would simply be the incredible forever continuation of a life lived with Him in the here and now. Abundant, full life here and now is why Jesus came. That’s salvation. That’s the point. Heaven is the coming blessing.
- Jesus, help me treasure YOU more than any gift you give, even heaven.