Friday, June 12, 2015

Why, From Heaven, We May Wish to Have Suffered More

SUFFERING is not something any of us is so sadistically entitled to.
Nobody sits through a life of pain and enjoys it. Everyone wants a life of joy, of hope, of success, and of the best comfort they can afford. But we might imagine heaven as an upside down reality. Heaven may well reward those most who have suffered most. This would be consistent with our Lord’s observations. It would fit with the justice of all things. Those who deserve most peace in heaven are those who had least peace here.
Some other possible observations from the kaleidoscope of eternity:
1. Success in this life (the way we measure it) will have no worth.
2. How we cared for others and minimised ourselves might matter so much more.
3. The contexts of life in terms of comfort may well be reversed.
4. We may find that a hard life here is vindicated in heaven in a way only heaven can compensate.
Life is a test. Life may not be much more than a test. What will we make of life? Will we coerce people or will we be kind to them? Will we be transparent before all people or will we hide in the dark? Are we driven by darkness, hate, greed and envy, or are we driven to do works of goodness for the glory of God.
Our Lord may appear to bless those who wish to get away with murder in this life. But what eternity are they reaping for themselves — the shame of being exposed. Of course, we will all be exposed. Perhaps it’s better to be exposed when it’s mostly good things we did in secret. Those things we get no reward for in this life.
There’s no hiding from God. What is done in the dark with no compunction is done in contempt of God. Woe to that person. Yet, those who suffer reproach silently, they who seem to lose and lose and lose, will gain a great reward. And what is suffered by the hand given us in life will also gain a great reward.
It really shouldn’t be meddled with a great deal: the concepts of eternity we can’t possibly know for sure. But we can know, that, because God’s kingdom is a paradoxical one, we have every hope that the suffering we endure in life will be returned to us in kindness, with profound blessing, with God.
We may well arrive on the God’s celestial shore and wish we had done more to have had less. We may wish to have been kinder, more enthusiastic and more charitable.
The more we suffer in this life, the more we will enjoy the kindness of God in heaven.
Take heart. Be of good cheer. Weariness in life will have its Great Reward.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.

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