Art Journal Note:
For this page I used oil pastels to create a vibrant background of flowers and leaves. To protect the page I added a sheet of tracing paper, to stop the oil pastels from smudging onto the next page. I really liked the layered transparent effect, and was reminded of the verse from 1 Corinthians 13 v 12, which I copied out onto white paper, cut into strips and glued to the front tracing paper sheet.
Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror;
then we shall see face to face.
Now I know in part;
then I shall know fully, even as I am known.
1 Corinthians 13 v 12
God knows that it does us good to remember that there’s better things to come!
This wonderful world is so incredibly beautiful, yet that all that God has created here is just a shadow of what is to come. Our very best experience of this world, of life and of love, is a mere reflection of what we will one day see face to face, experience and understand.
And just as God will make all things new and will create a new Heavens and a new Earth, the same is true for us. We are created in God’s likeness, in His image, yet there is more to come – we will be made perfect in Him. We have been promised new heavenly bodies, with no more pain, illness or suffering. And to spend eternity in the presence of God is what our hearts long for, and desire.
He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
Ecclesiastes 3 v 11
I don’t pretend to understand all that is to come, so much is a mystery (I certainly cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end). But what I do know is simply all that God has chosen to reveal to us through His Word, which gives us hope and a glimpse of better things ahead.
And yet we can easily forget about this when we take our eyes off God’s big picture and perfect plan, and when we get bogged down and burdened by day to day busyness, illness, grief, disappointments, tiredness, problems and issues.
Jesus knows life can be tough. He knows first hand. He knows all about temptation, and has experienced – as a man – the pressures of living God’s way in a broken world. He understands our need for hope, as without it we are simply lost.
And Jesus himself – God who became man – became our Hope.
Jesus made sure that He taught his disciples – and us – so much about the Kingdom of God and the ‘end times’, so that we would be able to find the exact healthy balance we need between fearing the Lord and being encouraged as we live our daily lives. We are free to live in holiness and walk with perseverance, with Jesus as our Hope.
“We know not what we shall be”; but we may be sure we shall be more, not less, than we were on earth. Our natural experiences (sensory, emotional, imaginative) are only like the drawing, like pencilled lines on flat paper. If they vanish in the risen life, they will vanish only as pencil lines vanish from the real landscape, not as a candle flame that is put out but as a candle flame which becomes invisible because someone has pulled up the blind, thrown open the shutters, and let in the blaze of the risen sun.
C.S. Lewis from ‘The Weight of Glory’
Heavenly Father, thank you that the very best that this beautiful world has to offer us will pale into insignificance at the richness of the new creation to come. All that you have given us here is just a mirror, a reflection, a transparent image hinting of more richness, incredible vibrancy, fullness and perfection in Your presence, O God. Thank you that we can look ahead with the Hope that You have given us, personally, through Jesus, and that brings us joy.
Thank you that I am fully known by You.
In Jesus’ name,