What’s to come

I will treasure words unsaid, holding to this fragile thread,

Tangible and yet unseen, woven deeper and between;

I will hope in what’s to come, weary with my senses numb,

No injustice to contend in a world that knows no end…

I will search the darkened sky, ask a thousand questions why;

Though the questions still remain, I know this is a healing pain…

This is my song at the moment: Yvonne Lyon hits the spot. I’ve posted a few of her songs before, including this one, ‘Healing pain’ from her ‘Thousand questions why’ album. When you can’t get a lyric out of your head it’s time to hunt out the old CD, so yesterday afternoon you would have found me in my car with this track on repeat the whole way into Leicester.

I will hope in what’s to come, weary with my senses numb… that’s the line that catches me.  It’s funny to think that over the past months a major priority I’ve carried has been quite the opposite of this – trying to live in ‘the power of now’, not looking too far ahead but enjoying life in the present, savouring the moment and simply aiming at one day at a time. I’ve been planning perhaps a month or two ahead, because it’s always helpful to have things to look forward to – but knowing that I’m shooting in the dark for anything at all over that; walking forward on thin ice is always a risky business – if you’ve seen the latest Batman film! – so it seems better to hold back until I can feel where I’m putting my feet. Indeed with our future so uncertain that has seemed the best and wisest option and a good and pleasant place to draw the boundary line – making the most of what we have, living well while we can, feeling blessed and cultivating gratitude; as the old Philosopher says: ‘A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God’  Ecclesiastes 2v24.  

Of course, the other habit strongly linked to that is stopping to look back down the road to make sense of the journey and give thanks for how far we have come – and there are multiple posts where I’ve indulged in that, marking the spot and even trying to follow the signposts forward as well. But when it comes to the future future, surely there is nothing we can do about that, nor do any of us even know how long we have left! So to quote the Bible’s hedonists, let’s ‘eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die’ – or as I prefer ‘tomorrow we diet  – because, of course, tomorrow never comes… 😉

It is a prevalent attitude: think of Bryan Adams – one among many in popular culture  – singing, ‘Who cares about tomorrow? I don’t care if it’s wrong or right …there’ll never be another tonight! But if you then google that ‘eat and drink for tomorrow we die’ phrase you’ll come up with Isaiah 22v13 and 1 Corinthians 15v22 – as well as Jesus himself ridiculing it in the parable about building bigger barns in Luke 12: the Scriptures all point out that this is a rather limited view of life as it disregards any potential future consequences! Our wise Teacher in Ecclesiastes didn’t think there would be any, so why bother? He concluded it is totally meaningless to live a good life if it all ends in death! But Paul teaches that there is more to come – namely the resurrection of the dead – which gives a rather longer view to consider and work towards… In fact Paul says, if there isn’t any resurrection we may as well give up now, because as Christians we are ‘of all men most miserable’ (1 Corinthians 15v19): it is a cornerstone of our faith – the eternal life promised to all who believe in Jesus (John 10v28). We don’t talk much about judgement these days, but the final reckoning of the nations was also a key part of Jesus’ message (Matthew 25)

So the unseen future is important – even if we can’t see much of it or be sure about it in any concrete sense. Because I believe what Jesus said, I can at least begin to make the stretch toward it – toward some future time when ‘God will wipe every tear from their eyes and there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain’ Revelation 21v4.  In many ways it is just a ‘fragile thread, tangible and yet unseen, woven deeper and between’ – yet this hope for a distant future where all will be made well gives meaning, direction and purpose to life and somehow holds everything together.  Sure, holding onto the promise of ‘what’s to come’ may seem a diaphanous dream too hard to grasp, but this kind of faith really does have a solid feel that provides true spiritual comfort when all the other senses shut down. That is why the negro slaves sang their powerful, spiritual songs in the midst of great suffering and oppression – one day they would be free, they would have shoes and walk all over heaven! That’s what – in their short, painful lives – they lived for.

I’m thinking now of an old post, from nearly 2 years ago – Hold on hope.  Perhaps back then I had more hope of a clean and clear journey, perhaps not imagining some of the more recent pain: perhaps my hope was more for this life than the next. What about that promise of God working all things together for good for those who love Him? Can I still hope for that as well? I can and I do – but now I am less insistent what that may look like. I am convinced there is redemption coming, but I don’t know what the fruit will be; as Paul also says in 1 Corinthians 15, what is sown doesn’t come up looking anything like the seed.

I will search the darkened sky, ask a thousand questions why;

Though the questions still remain, I know this is a healing pain…

And I really do. Am I just depressed and resigned or is it a godly acceptance? After ‘absorption’ yesterday, ‘acceptance’ is my next ‘A’ word – but that is for tomorrow’s post…

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About Sally Ann

True-story teller - words and pictures
This entry was posted in Life choices, Prayer, Suffering. Bookmark the permalink.

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