Have you ever felt that you were skipped while standing in the spiritual line? Maybe you have been faithful to a ministry for years, pouring your blood, sweat, and tears into your calling, and suddenly some young whipper-snapper comes along and rises to the top, leaving you feeling as though God has forgotten you. They tell their story of struggling in the process for all of five years, while you remember being in that same process when they were in diapers.
The truth is, life isn’t always fair down here. Many who experience success in the world or in the church spout platitudes on “how they did it,” and it is tempting to think that their prescription for promotion in the Kingdom will work every time. But for everyone who succeeds, there are many others who have had similar vision, stood in faith, stared at impossibilities, run with excellence, but have not experienced the fairy tale ending . . .yet.
I think that we underestimate the value of the afterlife. Some suppose that we will sit around on clouds strumming harps in Heaven, but Scripture says nothing of the sort. We will be ruling and reigning with Christ, and though I can’t picture that, it sounds pretty cool. Jesus spoke of rewards and being faithful in a few things to become ruler over many. He bestowed more talents to those who stewarded them well. How does this all translate? I have no idea. But I trust that God will honor His Word either here or in eternity.
I can’t control every part of life, but I can control my response to it. My part is to seek Christ with all that I am. I can dream with Him, believe that He is a Rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6), praise Him endlessly for the fact that He saved me when He didn’t have to, and live a life of choosing contentment while moving forward in faith. I can honestly rejoice with others who get ahead while I wait, and I can glean hope from their stories.
I have heard it said that life is a journey, not a destination, and I believe that this is true. If I achieve everything that the world has to offer, but I am estranged from Christ, then I have won nothing. Paul wrote in Philippians 3:7-9a—7 But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. 8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in Him. Well said, Paul. Well said.