God Is Already In Your Tomorrow
There was this verse that the preachers in the churches of my youth loved to preach from, but it always troubled me---even as a kid.
This was the verse:
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. - John 14:3Whenever the preachers of my youth would preach from this verse they would expound on the idea that what Jesus was talking about was "Heaven," a place where all true Christians were destined to go.
They also then would declare that (based on their interpretations of the verse) Jesus would return one day for all true Christians, "rapturing" them away from a tired, sinful old world that was bound for destruction---along with every non-believer who was left behind.
Consequently, this verse filled me with a lot of dread, and not much hope. I worried that I wouldn't be considered a true Christian, and as a result would be counted among the doomed.
Thankfully, I've come to understand this verse differently.
It's not about any of those things, as a matter of fact. It's about trusting God with our future, and having the confidence to hope that God is already in that future, making a way for us.
I read this amazing poem the other day by the 14th-century Persian poet, Hafiz. It helped me see even more clearly what Jesus was talking about:
Wherever your eyes and arms and heart can move
against the earth and sky,
the Beloved has bowed there--
Our Beloved has bowed there
knowing you were coming.
Isn't that beautiful? And doesn't this help paint a picture of what Jesus is saying in John 14? Jesus was always exhorting his followers to truly learn what it means to have "eternal life" right here, right now.
He also wanted them to know that they could be at peace, and entrust their futures to God because God was already in the future, preparing a place for them.
God is already in your tomorrow. You don't have to worry over it. You don't have to live in dread of judgement, calamity or destruction. You can simply be in this space, this time, this moment.
May this give you comfort and joy. And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.