The Paradox Of The Not Yet

We are indeed between two worlds.

Not of this one, but not yet in the one to come.

Hidden in Christ, but not yet in his arms.

In his presence, but not yet able to see his face.

Made new by the blood of Christ, but not yet perfected.

Building and fortifying here on earth, but investing in the heavenly kingdom.

Made whole spiritually, but not yet physically.

Treasuring life here, while storing up true treasures in heaven...

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When cancer takes someone close and loved, you can have a greater sense than ever before, that we are one foot in heaven. What it is to hold on tightly to the ones we love, but loosely enough for one'a grip to be on Christ? 

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This life appears more clearly as the breath that it is. All that we wrap our hearts around reveal themselves as the temporal, less-than-satisfying distractions that they truly are. That foot we have so firmly planted on this soil feels less immovable.

And we press on, here...with our eyes on what is real, and true, and Not Yet.

But, tomorrow or the next day, another inconvenience, desire, crisis, or frustration, will threaten to remove the Not Yet from our view. We will be tempted to think that THIS is all there is. That we must fight to preserve our life, our reputation, our belongings, our pride. All that will seem greater than all else. 

Greater than what is to come. And we will need reminding...that we are merely passing through. 

And...that all that we long for comes to us through what we don't understand, what sometimes makes no sense...that the paradox of God's goodness and lovingkindness is nothing we would know to embrace, but for the death of his son. There is where we begin, and where we cling to the story only the Almighty can conceive...

 

from The Valley of Vision:

Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly, You have brought me to the valley of vision, where I live in the depths but see You in the heights; hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold Your glory. Let me learn by paradox that the way down is the way up, that to be low is to be high, that the broken heart is the healed heart, that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit, that the repenting soul is the victorious soul, that to have nothing is to possess all, that to bear the cross is to wear the crown, that to give is to receive, that the valley is the place of vision. Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells, and the deeper the wells the brighter Your stars shine; let me find Your light in my darkness, Your life in my death, Your joy in my sorrow, Your grace in my sin, Your riches in my poverty, Your glory in my valley.

 

Because of grace,

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