Every day I find myself more and more thankful that God did not make us for this world. I realize that technically speaking, He did make us for this world for a certain period of time, but the days He ordained for us here are short! Whether it be one day or 100 years, in the grand scheme of things it is all, as the book of James says, just “a vapor.” I don’t know whether I would have been excited about this, say, just three months ago. I can guarantee I wouldn’t have been doing handstands about it in high school. I thought there was just too much life to live to be happy about the fact that it is so short. But, with each passing day, I find myself more and more aware that this life is not what we were created for! Nathan told me as we were driving away from Copeland’s funeral on Saturday that this same feeling had overwhelmed him as we sat through her beautiful memorial service. It’s like once the reality of suffering begins to seep through the surface level and implant itself firmly in the heart, all of the sudden the incongruity of what God intended for us and the reality of this fallen world hits full force. The pain we are all going through is just not what was supposed to be!
Just today I have heard from people who are experiencing a variety of suffering and heartaches ranging from leukemia, to depression, to bungled adoptions, to sick children. My eyes have most definitely been opened! No one is immune to the hurt and pain that can hit at a moments notice, and the pain is all around us! Regardless of whether a person knows God or not, the pain is real and unavoidable. The only difference is, that for the person who knows God, he has the concrete assurance that there is a reason for joy and hope in this life because of promise of being with God for eternity in heaven where everything is actually exactly as God intended without any of the scars and blemishes of this world to mar it. There will never be enough words for me to express to Jesus how grateful I am to Him for that!
I don’t want to give the impression that I now feel like life is a burden that I must endure, because that’s not how I feel at all! I love life, and I think that God intends for us to live, even in this vastly imperfect world, with laughter and fun and enjoyment. I love the movie Life is Beautiful, because the father in the story so typifies the very essence of living life despite the circumstances. But the truth is, while I do feel like the title of that movie is true, I think that Jesus will redefine the meaning of beauty once we get to heaven to mean something that is perfect and free from all traces of sorrow. However, for now I want to use whatever short time I have to bring Jesus glory. The gift of this little baby has made that desire deeper and more urgent than ever before. Everyday as Poppy lives and moves inside of me, she is constantly on my mind and my heart. I think about the specifics of her condition often, but she also reminds me of the condition of the world around me. She has helped me to see past myself and my own small concerns and to see the world around me with new eyes. She has helped me to see other people’s hurts, and she has helped provide me with an empathy that I was very lacking in up to this point in my life. God has done all this through her already, and I know He is certainly not through using her in my life and the lives of other people. She is without doubt one of God’s greatest gifts to me.