Friday, 6 September 2013

Forever and ever...

"He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart, yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end." (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

The moon rises in a halo of light over the faint rugged outline of the second Hog's back. The circle is small. One little hand rests in the strong calloused hand of their father. Another, dimpled and warm is slipped into mine. Our heads are bowed, and in this moment there is wholeness. There are moments of pure joy, love, even holiness that cause you to hold your breath and want to hold onto it forever...

I remember a time many years ago, attending a science exhibition in the CSIR gardens. I became mesmerised by a pendulum under a glass dome, which was swinging without any human intervention. It needed no gas, no electricity, no push. It was put in motion by the rotation of the earth, and it would keep swinging . . . forever. It was wonderful and frightening. Eternity was, no doubt, embedded in my heart.

Or perhaps just the opposite was true? That early event, and a number of them since, has shown me that I am in fact completely incapable of grasping the eternal. Perhaps the ability to be intrigued by the eternal is in my heart, but I certainly don’t have the ability to comprehend it. Though everything is beautiful in its time, yet till they are revealed and all viewed together; they will not be perfectly understood, or the beauty of them seen. For God has put something "hidden", or "sealed up", in the midst of them, so that it cannot be perfectly known. What I do know is that God has also "placed" the Spirit of Christ in my heart, and His salvation into eternity is mine to have and to hold through repentance, grace and more grace.

For this reason the veil or ignorance can bring rest. While we don’t feel the need to explain the death of a ninety-five-year-old saint, we often feel compelled to understand why someone dies “before their time.” Or take an even more difficult event – the suicide of a loved one. This certainly begs for an explanation and families can spend the rest of the lives trying to understand what they did to cause the suicide and why God allowed it.

This passage allows us to rest even before our quest for answers begins. Whatever explanations we invent will, no doubt, be wrong or hopelessly incomplete, so we might as well start immediately with trusting God.
The veil is reason for thanks. Do I really want to know what is going to happen to my children? If I had such knowledge I would live in fear.

To have my life "hidden in Christ" gives me reason to surrender my fears. To live in the knowledge that all things were created through Him, for Him and by Him, and that includes me. The eternity set in my heart is the knowledge that I will spend eternity with my Saviour. How or when or why is not for me to discern. "Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see." (Hebrews 11:1).

The veil teaches me to live as a child before the Father. As a child, I don’t need or want to know the details of how my father is going to get us to the beach. It is more than enough to know that he is going to get us there.

"My heart is not proud, O Lord, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me. But I have stilled and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me. O Israel, put your hope in the Lord both now and forevermore." (Psalm 131)

The veil teaches us to live by faith. How unimaginable – how inhuman – it would be to rely on what we know. To trust our God, King and Father is the most satisfyingly human thing that we can do...

Main Source and credit to: Eternity in Our Hearts? ...Ecclesiastes 3:11 Revisited, By: Ed Welch.

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