Do you like to taste-test your cooking before you have finished the whole thing? I admit to being guilty of this.
Since social distancing has become law in this country, things haven’t changed very much for us. We are emerging slowly from the drought, where the number of dollars in the bank, or lack of, kept us at home more than normal. While the lack of money still keeps us at home, the government has added a valid excuse to not be tempted to say ‘what the heck, let’s go somewhere anyway’. Shopping is a horrible experience.
However, I realise that for many of our countrymen and women, this has changed their lives dramatically and drastically. I’m not going to lie, there have been days when I have wanted to get in the car and visit people who are struggling, particularly my children; I have shed tears aplenty after conversations over the phone with those who are not coping. I’m not sure that I want this ‘new’ normal to last the six months authorities are telling us, let alone the year or eighteen months others are saying.
As I listened to a television preacher, who reminded me that this crisis is only a foretaste of what it will be like on Judgement Day, I felt a greater sadness for those who are not coping. I don’t mean those who have a faith and are struggling with the pain that comes with having that faith stretched as we go through the new set of exercises that God has given us, but those who have no relationship with God at all.
“But He shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out. And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God.”
~ Luke 13:27-29
Isolation is lonely, but we have social media and telephones to keep us connected; hell will have neither of these. We wake up each morning to daylight, sunshine and a variety of colours; hell will have none of these. Even on our worst days, we know that this will someday come to an end; hell will not.
Let’s go back to my original question. If you like to test-taste things before you wholeheartedly eat, or decide to bag it for the chooks or the bin, remember that this life is a foretaste of what is to come. It is also our only chance for all of us to decide where we are going to spend eternity. Those who do not have a relationship with God, are going to see this time as if it were a ‘walk in the park’.
For those of us who are sure that this struggle is going to fade into the background against Heaven’s perfection, we need to pray for those for which this will only be a test-taste of what is to come, but will have to eat the whole horrible meal forever.
Lord, we pray for those who have no relationship with You. We asked that Your people will reach out to them, so that they understand what they have to face without You. May they come to know and love You as their God and Saviour, turning away from sin and receiving the Gospel of Eternal Life. Amen.