The challenges of the past year have seemed, at times, to be a perpetual waiting game. Waiting in line to get into a store, waiting for restaurants and other businesses to re-open, waiting to visit family and friends. There have been a lot of things we are not yet allowed to do.
It’s made me more aware that life, in general, tends to be a now and not yet situation. Quite often, we’re less than content where we are and want to get to the “not yet” that we desire to be in. We’re still in school, and not yet out in the working world. We’re single and not yet in a relationship or married. We’re married but not yet parents. We’re parents but not yet empty-nesters. You get the idea.
The reality is, as believers, life on earth is a very real now and not yet scenario. And we’re not meant to get so comfortable in the now that we don’t long for the not yet. I know part of that is simply getting older. The older we get, the more people we know who have passed from this world into eternity – grandparents, parents, spouses, friends, even children. And the more loved ones we have who are no longer with us, the more we long for the not yet.
Truthfully, we were created for the not yet. This world is temporary. We were created for the eternal.
Romans 8:24-25 says, For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
Philippians 1:21-23 says, For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far;
And 1 John 1:3, we read, Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.
As we wait for more things to change here, I’m reminded daily that, no matter what happens in this world – masks, no masks; vaccine or no vaccine; in person or virtual – this is not our final destination. The Not Yet is so much better, so much beyond what we can imagine.
There’s an old Amy Grant song titled “The Now and the Not Yet” that says:
But I’m caught in between the now and the not yet
Sometimes it feels like forever and ever
That I’ve been reaching to be all that I am
But I’m only a few steps nearer
Yet I’m nearer
This life is really but a moment, and each moment we’re drawing nearer to that Not Yet.
Written by Ruth Schmidt: Ruth Schmidt has worked at America’s Keswick since 1985. She currently serves as Administrative Assistant to Bill Welte.
Think About This: “It’s a grace to regret. Grace allows you to face your sin, to own it and not shift the blame. But it is also grace that forgives what has been exposed. Grace forces you to feel the pain of your regrets, but never asks you to pay for them, because the price has already been paid by Jesus.”―