God is Not a Cheater

It’s no secret that this world is just getting worse and worse, but that’s not what this post is about. You know it, I know it, the lady down the street with the 14 cats knows it. For a Christian who is awaiting the return of Jesus, these days are only a reminder that the Lord will one day come back and set things back right.

“I just can’t wait to dust the dirt of this world off my feet and go home to be with Jesus! I pray every day for Jesus to come back.”

I heard these words or variants of them several times at revival meetings when I was a teen, and every time guilt accompanied them. I wasn’t ready to have my life cut short. Did that make me a bad Christian? Did I not love Jesus enough?

The words “contentment” and “fulfillment” hit differently when you have so much life ahead of you. When you have more plans than years and the threat of not having the time to complete them makes you ache a little. Plans like marriage and a family and travel. For a teenaged girl, the thought of never having those life experiences was crippling.

I still face that fear and guilt from time to time. Preparing for the future in a world such as ours has a variety of anxieties attached to it. This is the most uncertain time I can remember, and it’s hard to make plans for even the next year because there is no telling what the world will look like. There’s a catastrophe of some kind every other day it seems. The world is shifting and changing before we can even settle into the last adjustment. I wonder if the time has passed for all the plans I once had – or even live a “normal” life. Are my best days behind me? Is this it?

However, one time I was listening to a podcast that changed my outlook on the future and on whether or not I would complete all my plans.

“God is not a cheater.”

He wouldn’t promise a place better than this world if He didn’t plan on making it better than anything the Earth has to offer. Heaven is more beautiful than the scenery in New Zealand. More awe-inspiring than the coast of California. More fulfilling than marriage and a family. Why? Because the Lord is there.

That sounds so cliché, at least it did to me when I was young. But as I grow older, the more the presence of the Lord means to me. It’s impossible to grasp the entirety of how amazing the Lord is, but just think about this a second.

The Bible says that in the presence of the Lord there will be no burdens, no tears, and no suffering. Can you imagine a point in your life when literally nothing was weighing on your mind? Now imagine that for eternity.

No doubt will creep into your mind and try to shake your faith, because the Lover of your soul will be standing there, looking into your eyes and you into His. You will stand in the presence of perfect love and fear will be nowhere to be found. I often try to imagine what a hug from Jesus will feel like. When all the broken pieces are fitted back together and the arms that held you your entire life are now entirely tangible.

It makes my stomach quiver, and maybe my chin a little too. We will no longer desire to be loved, accepted, or wanted. Because there will be an endless supply and no one will be left wanting.

Sure, the thought of kneeling before ultimate Holiness and giving an answer for my life is scary and daunting, but at the end of the day I know I am covered in grace and mercy, just as I will be then. I’m caught between the desire for more time to live a life worthy of His sacrifice, and aching for the feeling of His arms holding me. Truth is, I’m not ready to go yet, but I know that even if God’s plan is to take me from this world tomorrow or the next day, I won’t regret it.

I won’t be sad that I never got to do all of the things my young heart aches to experience, because all of those desires will be washed away in the glory of the King. The arms that held me together. The eyes that watched over me. The feet that left prints for me to follow. The hands that orchestrated every day of my life. When I think on this, everything in this world pales.

I know that once I enter that gate, everything I wanted in life will fall aside and there will be no desire for anything else. He has fulfilled every want. There will be no ache for what could have been. There will be no missing pieces.

There will only be endless, perfect love.

So no matter how the world changes and whether we get to live our definition of a “full” life or not, there is always the promise of an eternity with Jesus to make us content, fulfilled, and at peace.

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