Thankful for a Future Season

 

I love fall. The colors, the temperature (which fluctuates a lot in Georgia), the football, the food, the shopping… it’s by far my favorite time of year. But I also know that soon I will be ready for winter. We just got into November and I am already itching to turn on my Christmas station on Pandora. In late January I’ll start thinking about the beach & how much easier life will be in the summer. (And the pattern continues…).

Something deep inside of me tugs & whispers that I will be complete in the next season of life here on earth. I’ve often thought that the “next” stage will be “so much better” than whatever current situation I’m in. It’s an easy lie to fall for. For example: “once I am in a serious relationship, then I’ll be content,” or “when I’m a senior & get more playing time on the field, then I’ll be happy,” or “life will be great when I can finally graduate & move away.” All of these statements stem from the belief that all of my discontent, my restlessness and my sadness will dissolve when “A, B or C” happens.

The dangerous thing about this line of thinking is that we are taking something good (in this case, a season of life) & placing our faith in it for ultimate fulfillment. Not only is that idolatry, but we are setting ourselves up for disappointment. By believing that a future season of life will dissolve all of our problems, we place unrealistic expectations on our earthly life. We will undoubtedly be disappointed.

Before you get too discouraged & quit reading, I want to say that I think that there is such a thing as a “godly discontentment” with life on earth. Our view of life is so small. Rarely do we stretch ourselves to think beyond life on earth. Personally, I don’t think our restlessness is always the problem. I think the deeper problem lies with how we respond to it. When we sense that tug inside of us- that longing for someplace, someone or something better than our current situation- where do we turn? Do we place our hope in the “next season of life” or in the One who created life & is currently preparing for us an entirely different kind of season- an everlasting one without sin, pain, death, depression, poverty, injustice…

Check out the people in Hebrews 11. Notice the object of their faith; that object (Jesus & the promise of heaven) is what gave them the ability to walk through life on earth. They knew that the longing they were experiencing was a longing for heaven, not for a season of this temporary life on earth:

“These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city” (Hebrews 11:13-16; emphasis mine).

The desire for a better country, a better place, a better season is real. It is legitimate. But don’t think that the object of your longing can be found on this temporary earth. Life will never be perfect on this side of heaven. When we keep our eyes on Jesus (the only worthy Object of our faith, hope & trust), the highs & lows of life will neither put us on cloud nine nor devastate us. The ultimate stage of life (or the “better country”) that we long for is heaven with Christ.

There is an everlasting season coming– when we will be in our heavenly home, in the sinless, all-satisfying, joy-filled presence of our King. And that is a future, perfect season that I am so incredibly thankful for.

 

Emily Kelly lives in Athens, GA with her awesome new husband, where she is on staff with the college ministry of Watkinsville First Baptist Church.

If you enjoyed this article, please consider sharing it!
Icon Icon Icon

Leave Your Response

* Name, Email, Comment are Required