We Will Always Be With The Lord
…and so we will always be with the Lord
– 1 Thessalonians 4:17
The One I pray to in the silence of my mind, the one whose form I have never seen, the One who has led me from the womb, in whom millions have trusted. The One who has led His church for 2,000 years through suffering and pain and hardship, who has been a hope for His people in terror and our light in the darkness, the One to whom ten thousand, thousand, songs have been composed, to whom billions of desperate prayers have been offered, the fortress behind whom seas of humanity have taken shelter, the Hen under whose torn wings multitudes have sung for joy….the Hope who haunts the world, the Joy who echoes in the Sun, the Love to whom every love points – we will see Him, and more – we will always be with Him.
The church. The believers. The elect. Those chosen by sheer grace for the sake of His name. WE – a community. WE will be with Him. It does not say, “I”. certainly, I will be with the Lord, but the hope here, the hope the Spirit points us to is that WE – together with all the saints – WE – as a redeemed people – WE – as the united Bride – WE will be with the Lord, together. Eternity is communal.
No doubt here. It is the word of the Lord. The one trusting in Jesus Christ WILL be with the Lord. Just as surely as the Sun WILL set tonight (more surely) so to we WILL be with the Lord. What can separate us from this Love? From this hope? Can Cancer? Poverty? Tragedy? Brain damage that leaves us crippled seemingly trapped in a temporary prison of flesh? Tragedy? Persecution? Torture? – in all these things, through all these things, despite all these things – come though they may – we WILL be with the Lord. No turn of events, no descent of darkness can thwart this promise for His people. We WILL be with the Lord.
Without end. Without stopping. An eternal fellowship, an eternal nearness, an eternal and un-separated knowing and rejoicing in God Himself. Always. We will always be with the Lord. In eternity, we will do many things. There will be Kings and Kingdoms, there will be art and creation, there will be cities built, food prepared, feasts had, dances danced, songs sung, stories written, mountains carved into monuments and towers built into the stars – but in all of these things and more, in all of our joy-filled labor, we will always be with the Lord. We will never be separated from his presence. We will never be absorbed into work so that His intimacy is not with us. We will never be distracted, never be enticed away, never be forced to divide our hearts and minds and souls between a task at hand and sweet communion with the Lord – we will always be with Him.
This is too sweet for words. We will always be together with the God of the Universe. We will always be together with the Most Holy being in all of reality. We will always BE WITH Him. We will not simply behold Him, we will not simply see His glory unveiled in splendor, we will not simply worship Him, we will not simply rejoice in His presence, we will not simply marvel at His infinity, we will not stand at the base of the mountain and see the consuming fire and hear the roaring thunder, but we will hear the summons that Moses heard (and MORE) and we will go up into the Mountain, up into the Cloud and Fire, up into the Light – and further up and further in than Moses could have ever imagined. The Lord will not simply “pass by” and show us the back of his glory, He will show us His face in Jesus Christ, and we will BE WITH HIM. Eternity is relational.
Even more impossible for words. The Lord, the Master, the King, the Emperor, the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End of all things. The supreme authority, the One who is the radiance of the glory of God, who is the exact image of the invisible Father. The eternally Beloved of God, to whom belongs all that is the Father’s.
The universe has a deep, sweet, mysterious underlying strain of Beauty and Hope and Joy – the un-tainted crystalline song of the stars that Hubble relays to us, the heart stopping beauty of the Sun as it dies in splendor on a summer evening, friends smiling around a campfire as someone plays a guitar, birds that sing as the trees are resurrected, mountains that defy gravity and dwarf our steel towers, planets with topography no human will ever enjoy, long tables full of food and faces and souls whom we know well….this universe is “haunted” by a Hope and Joy and Beauty beyond description – and the reason for that is because this universe is permeated with the heart of God.
And the Heart of God REJOICES in Himself – the Father REJOCING from all eternity in the Son and the Son REJOCING from all eternity in the Father and the Spirit as the Joy of the Rejoicing. Why is the universe beautiful? Why is there this “hopeful undertone” to reality? Because God is like that. Because God delights in the Son. And it is into this Son, into this God, into this Trinitarian banquet of Joy that we taste in creation that the Christian has been invited.
We will be with the LORD – the One who created and inspired all that is around us…..the One who we see in the Sun and Stars and who we hear in the songs and laughter and who we taste in the feast and drink – HE is the One! The One whom we have always longed for, the Bread of Life for whom all of our hungers are groaning, the Living Water for whom all of our thirsts are panting. The Lord, the Joy of man’s desiring. THIS is the One, HE is the One, the God with whom we will always be.
Christian, may we live with this blood-bought hope ever before our eyes!