Future First

I have often reminded Christians that our mindset in life is to be “future first” thinkers. Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 4:13 to those concerned about the loss of their loved ones: 

“But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope.” NKJV

Paul did not say “Because you are going to heaven you should have no sorrow” but rather that because we are going to heaven we sorrow yet with hope. The fact is dear friend, there are some life events that we will never get over but are going to have to get through. We sorrow, and hope. Our hope is that when life happens and hurts us at times, the future for the Christian is heaven. To remember that “this life is not all there is” is not trite or a quaint saying we exchange when pain and sorrow infringe upon on lives, it is age old truth that sustains us and allows us to get through what we never expected to endure. We must remember to be “future first” in our thinking, we must not allow familiarity to breed contempt of such a magnificent truth. This life can be brutal and painful, yet filled with hope even in times of sorrow. That will not come and cannot be had through maintaining a positive mental outlook but rather it comes by remembering the fact that there is a new life that awaits us, there is an eternity where death, sickness and sorrow are banished forever.  We must filter all of life’s difficulties through the blessed future that awaits us in heaven. This is what Paul was telling the church concerning those who had died, sorrow is right and real and has it’s place in life in a fallen world, but the hope of heaven is where the mind must begin, to remember this life is not all there is essential to getting to the starting line of Dancing With the Scars.

I have been in the trauma center waiting room and seen parents notified of the loss of a teenage son, I watched them literally writhe in pain, I have seen the disbelief in their eyes, the instant rejection and denial of the words of the trauma team, for the words were too hard to hear, too unrealistic, too impossible, too unbelievable to be true for any parents ears. I have seen grown men buckle at the knees and pass out when the sheet was pulled back to reveal the face of their child or spouse, I have seen mothers become stoic and unresponsive when notified their child had taken their own life, their life visibly stops at that moment and denial begins to rule the thoughts and emotions. At such times there are no words to say, there is nothing to share, nothing can afford comfort in such a time as this. The wound is instant and deep when life happens at times and as one life ends others are altered for the rest of theirs. Things will never be the same, nor should they be, when death or disease has intruded upon youthful vigor and vitality. Sorrow is right, sorrow is real, hope seems invisible and, to a degree, to even mention words like hope or joy seem like an unwanted intruder in such moments. Yet, as we all know, during such times the harsh reality is, that life goes on, and it is the moments beyond the point of impact that we must begin again to consider the hope of heaven, the future for all who believe, the reason sorrow and hope can be companions when life happens. I have often considered the cruelty of life when an event takes place that shakes a person to the core, when all things and people in life ought to stop and take notice, yet the bills keep coming, the world marches on, the job expects you to return, the school requires your attendance. Life just keeps happening when it should stop and take notice of how a persons heart and life has been intruded upon and scarred forever. 

Excerpt from “Dancing With the Scars” now available on Amazon.

BARRY STAGNER

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