My mood was tense.
It was a jam-packed day, I wasn’t feeling well, and I was behind on several important tasks. My daughter asked, “Any update on that package?” She had an event coming up and we had ordered a special dress online to match the theme. Out in the country we don’t have many options for shopping. I had even paid extra just to make sure the dress arrived in time.
I checked the computer. The package was delayed again, now past the time frame that I had paid for, and was scheduled to arrive a week after the event. I quickly typed the website URL of the site we had ordered from, only to be met with a new message at the top of the site that the store would be closed for a holiday and wouldn’t be responding to messages until, you guessed it, a week after the event. Gah!
My son asked me a question and I snapped at him while typing a frustrated message to the store. My daughter got caught in the verbal onslaught of her irritated mama too. Snap snap snap, I wielded my words like an angry lobster snapping its unwieldy claws at anything coming near.
My wise daughter asked if we would like to pray. It took mere seconds during the prayer for me to regain perspective and feel conviction. What a silly and narrow view I was taking on the matter! Here was an opportunity to practice patience, to demonstrate resourcefulness, to be thankful for what we have… and instead I was focused on the inconvenience, and worried about disappointing my daughter.
Living with Eternity in Mind
“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” Colossians 3:1-2
It is so easy to be overwhelmed by the dailies isn’t it? Even without silliness like my dress order “drama,” the day-to-day of juggling the management of my home, my work, and homeschooling my kids can distract me from eternal matters. On top of personal issues, world news seems to become more and more alarming each year. And now we have social media to contend with, making the news all the more personal as we observe how it impacts the people in our lives. This earthly life, as beautiful as it can be, can also be distracting and discouraging.
But as children of God we are members of an eternal and spiritual realm already. It is like we live a double life – one foot on earth and one foot in heaven.
“For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” Philippians 3:18-20
What would happen if you and I looked at everything through an eternal lens? How would it change what we perceived? How would it affect our responses?
What Changes When You Keep an Eternal Perspective?
Frankly, just about everything changes when you have an eternal perspective. Here are a few examples:
– You live aware that Jesus Christ abides in you!
“…do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?” 2 Corinthians 13:5
– Earthly frustrations and wants get put in their proper place. You recognize that they are insignificant in the vast expanse of eternal life.
“And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.” 1 John 2:17
– You make decisions and act based not on your circumstances but on God’s Truth.
“An eternal perspective affects our priorities and our actions” – Henry Blackaby
– You recognize that Satan is at the root of the struggles you face with others.
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12
– You grow in patience.
“Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.” James 5:7-8
Renewing our minds with an eternal perspective gives us hope in the midst of earthly struggles. This hope is alive through the power of Jesus Christ’s resurrection!
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:3-7
My silly dress drama was minor even from an earthly perspective. It was inconsequential from an eternal perspective. And guess what? That dress showed up on our doorstep the day of the event after all!
Take heart, and stay focused. No matter what you may be going through, keeping your mind fixed on the truth of your eternal inheritance in Christ will help you navigate the storm.