‘Jesus said, “My Kingdom is not of this world….. my kingdom is from another place.”’
Several months ago, I found myself verbally voicing my grievances to God concerning the harshness of life and our human longing for something more. I’ve been alive long enough to realize that suffering is a human reality, Christian or not; and I also notice that no matter how good things are in life, I will always long for a perfect world.
This longing has always caused me to wrestle with what seems on the surface to be a contradiction of truth. It brings me to ask, “Why do I long so deeply for perfect health, a fearless mind, a risk-less love, a life where death doesn’t exist, and for my impact on this world to matter and transcend generations when Jesus supposedly came here to set us free from the world?”
You see, it’s not a contradiction at all. We long for a different version of our world simply because we were not made for this one (John 18:36). The fact that the very thought of death makes us shudder is proof that our spirits were not made for it! I don’t know about you but sometimes I want so deeply for a perfect world that I’m brought to weeping. My spirit is constantly crying out for it. Every person was created with this longing engrained inside of them fueled by the truth that we were made for more! Sadly, many of us (Christians included) have believed those longings to be lies and have succumbed to the thought that this is as good at it gets!
Jesus came to set us free from the lies of our enemy and this world! Those deep longings aren’t lies, but rather they testify to the truth, if only we’d have faith enough to believe! I love the works of C.S. Lewis, especially when addressing the topic of Heaven. His most famous work, “The Chronicles of Narnia” (recently made famous again through cinema) has much to tell us about the subject. In chapter 15 of the final book titled “The Last Battle”, Lewis paints an important picture for us as evil has forever been defeated in Narnia…
“Listen, Peter. When Aslan said you could never go back to Narnia, He Meant the Narnia you were thinking of. But that was not the real Narnia. That had a beginning and an end. It was only a shadow or a copy of the real Narnia which has always been here and always will be here: just as our own world, England and all, is only a shadow or copy of something in Aslan’s real world. You need not mourn over Narnia, Lucy. All of the old Narnia that mattered, all the dear creatures have been drawn into the real Narnia through the door. And of course it is different; as different as a real thing is from a shadow or as waking life is from a dream.” ….
‘It was the unicorn who summed up what everyone was feeling. He stamped his right fore-hoof on the ground and neighed, and then cried: “I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now. The reason why we loved the old Narnia is that it sometimes looked a little like this.”‘
The same is true for our world; if you have ever loved parts of this world, it is because they were shadows of the real versions yet to come! Everything that makes our hearts jump only does so because it shadows the Truth and mirrors God’s story! Numerous times, I have found myself filling with excitement in the middle of an action movie as it reaches its pivotal climax (Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, The Chronicle of Narnia, Captain America, The Avengers, Thor– just to name a few- haha) where the heroes are caught up fighting for truth, justice, mercy, love, and most of all– Humanity! God showed me that the reason my heart excites at those moments is because it’s a shadow of the real story; and even though it pales in comparison to the real one, my spirit still sings at even a hint of it!
Every desire of a man or woman’s heart has a real and counterfeit version of fulfillment. The world’s versions are filled with sin, lead to disappointment, don’t last, and always fall short! God’s versions however, are real and will last for eternity! Spiritually and emotionally, we can experience portions of the real versions, but only portions until we are given heavenly bodies to handle the fullness of its glory! As humans, we eventually reach a point where we can no longer deny the frailty of our mortal bodies. Healing is real and certainly still takes place this side of Heaven to the glory of God; but let’s be honest, none of us make it out of this thing called life with our current bodies still breathing (unless we’re here when Christ returns of course… we can only hope); instead He gives us new ones worthy of the Kingdom of God!
If you’re tired of pain, know that there is a place where it doesn’t exist! If you are anxious, fearful, and scared, know that there is a place where the light outshines the darkness and the only thing terrorized is fear itself! If you mourn, know that there is a place where tears of sorrow never fall again! If you are wounded, know that there is a place where even scars are healed! If you are tempted, know that God delivers now and that there is also a place where the battle doesn’t even exist. If you are nearing the end of life (aren’t we all), know that there is a place where death will be the only and last thing to ever pass away! These frail shells that we wear are like that of a cocoon, a preparation chamber for the lives that we were meant for; the lives that we will eventually spend eternity in! Death is a black veil, shielding us from the everlasting light that is to come. It is the enemy’s final lie– so don’t be deceived!
Be encouraged dear ones! If you know Jesus, this is your hope, to one day see your longings fulfilled and grasp a perfect world, made that way by the one who fills it with His presence! But if you don’t know Christ and you’re still breathing, it’s never too late to know Him now! God Bless you!