Waiting For What Will Be
Have you ever been in a situation or a circumstance that you knew was only part of what it could be or eventually would become? Construction is like this. There are people who are uniquely gifted to look at an empty plot of land and see a future with houses and a community. At the present moment, the field is just that a field. The developer is waiting for what it will become, all the while being able to see it in their mind.
The Christian life is also like this. We experience in part the fullness of life and hope that we will one day experience in full. And, there is deep power and significance in that future-forward hope and confidence. It is why John writes to a group of believers who are struggling and in conflict,
Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. – 1 Jn. 3:2
As Christians, we are God’s children now, and we experience His blessings, love, provision, and encouragement now. Yet, we are also to live with a hope that what we experience in part now will be made full and perfect in a day to come. What day? The day Jesus appears. John wrote several books in the NT; Revelation is one of them. This future-forward faith and hope is a central aspect of John’s main idea in Revelation. In that book, he is writing to Christians who are literally facing death for their belief in Christ. Tim Keller, in his book, Walking with God through Pain and Suffering, highlights the power of this hope; he notes that as Christians suffered, they did so knowing that they would experience the fullness of life to come, and those that watched were then convinced of Christianity and all of its promises. He goes on to quote C.S. Lewis, “At present, we are on the outside of the world, the wrong side of the door. We discern the freshness and purity of morning, but they do not make us fresh and pure. We cannot mingle with the splendors we see. But all the leaves of the New Testament are rustling with the rumor that it will not always be so. Someday, God willing, we shall get in.” (The Weight of Glory)
As we wait for what will be (Rev. 21:1-5), we experience the reality of it in part here and now as the children of God. That experience prompts and pushes us to live with a resilient hope for the future and steadfast abiding love for God. Why? Because we know the end of the story. We know that it is going to be all right. We know that when He comes, we shall be like Him because we are already children of God. We know that we can endure and give God’s love away because it will not always be like this.
Let us wait as ones with the greatest of hopes.
Let us wait actively and boldly in obedience as children of God.