“That’s why I don’t think there’s any comparison between the present hard times and the coming good times. The created world itself can hardly wait for what’s coming next. Everything in creation is being more or less held back. God reins it in until both creation and all the creatures are ready and can be released at the same moment into the glorious times ahead. Meanwhile, the joyful anticipation deepens.” (Rom 8:18-21, MSG)
Kids cannot wait for Christmas. Even though they may have some difficult homework assignments to accomplish over the Christmas break, they always look forward to December 25th. That special day motivates them. How much more should our anticipation be to meet our Maker face to face in the heavenly realms. This should fill us with adrenaline. Our temporary setbacks are nothing compared to this glorious day when there will be no more pain, no more wars, no more tears, no more death, for: “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Rev 21:4, NIV2) Wow! May we look forward to that day! Nothing will leave us wanting!
Granowski, barely 11 years old at the time, was being held in a Nazi transit camp near Antwerpen in Belgium. Granowski dreamed of returning to his dad, who, though being pursued by the Gestapo, somehow always seemed to be able to evade them.
Granowski was aware that soon he would be loaded onto a cattle train and sent to a concentration camp. He heard that some people were able to escape from moving trains, so he decided to practice his escape from his bunk bed.
In March 1943, he and his mom were loaded onto that anticipated cattle wagon. Their destination: Auschwitz!
That same train was attacked by partisans, who were able to rescue 17 Jews from certain death; but Granowski was not among them. The rescue attempt filled him with hope, however. After all, he would give anything to join his dad wherever he was.
A few men in his cattle wagon succeeded in opening the door, but the train was building up speed. Granowski watched the landscape flying by at such a velocity that it made him dizzy; but he decided it was nothing more than a temporary setback. His hunger to be with his dad was way more important. Even though his mother had admonished him to not do anything foolish for the train was moving way too fast, he leaped through that door.
Granowski survived and eventually found his dad. Unfortunately, his mom did not survive Auschwitz.
We, too, should have such a hunger for our Heavenly Father. If this is the case, every time adversity hits us head on, we will remember what we long for, and we will know our Father will sustain us. Our longing will be fulfilled. Very soon we will meet Him in His Glorious Kingdom. No one will ever be able to stop us, not even a speeding train!
“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; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.” (Phil 1:21-24, NIV2)
Are you also longing for your Heavenly Father?
(To access the entire “Radical Grace From the Book of Romans” devotional series, please click here.)