A friend invited me to be a part of a pretty special occasion in the life of her family...the birth of her first son. I met up with them at the hospital and stuck around for the last 12 hours of her labor, through the actual birth. What an incredible experience. Part of me isn't sure that I can put it into words. It was otherworldly. It was a bit scary at times. It was supernatural. More medicinal than I would have liked. But next to the birth of my own children, which I wasn't exactly an innocent bystander of, it was the most miraculous event I have ever witnessed firsthand.
In a strange way it made me long for heaven. I caught a glimpse of newness. New beginnings. A new family. New mercies. Actually, a lot of things are doing that for me lately. The argument my husband and I had the other day left me longing for heaven...for the next life. Or should I say, the next portion of life...when he and I won't even be able to argue, because it just won't be an option in our new existence. The disconnection with a friend leaves me longing for that not-so-far-off season when we won't even know what the reality of disconnection feels like. The dream that I fear won't come to pass now...well, it's not as heartbreaking when I realize that it just might come to pass then.
It's refreshing to look at life this way...not two separate lives...not the now, the what we can see; then the everlasting. But an extension of what we know of now...God's word talks of a new heaven and a new earth. We are already familiar with earth and its potential for beauty and the very tangible, earthy, spectacular, precious moments it can lend to our lives...why wouldn't God speak into our lives with what we already know?
An extension. The bad, the evil, the cold, the hard, the rough, the unkind, the disconnection...all gone. But the good that we now see - those moments that are fleeting but you can see potential in them for how good this life is really supposed to be...we can let those moments linger. And we can let them point us to the next phase in our life...for those of us who call God 'Father' and Christ 'Savior' and Holy Spirit 'Counselor', we don't have a completely separate existence waiting for us somewhere beyond the ethereal horizon...we have a life that never ends...a life that begins with the moment we ask Christ to be our Forgiver and Leader...a life that can be filled with occasions that remind us what our hope is really all about.
Hope is about the unseen, that is true...but it is not out of reach. Look for the hints, try to sneak glances into the next chapter, in the every day...the peeks of newness that you grasp, they will get you through your day at every turn, if you just let them.
Elisabeth K. Corcoran is the author of Calm in My Chaos: Encouragement for a Mom's Weary Soul. She is wife to Kevin, and mom to Sara, 6, and Jack, 4-&-1/2. Her passion is encouraging women and she fulfills that through heading up the Women's Ministries at Blackberry Creek Community Church in Aurora, IL and writing as much as she can. Calm in My Chaos (2001) can be purchased directly through her publisher, Kregel Publications at #1-888-644-0500, by clicking here, or through your local Christian bookstore. This column is original and not excerpted from her book.