Clarity arrives in reverse. The picture created by the puzzle materializes fully only when the pieces configure in final combination. When scattered and strewn upon a table, the fractured picture is not a picture at all, but instead a chaotic mess of meaningless shards. Although it carries the potential for something whole, in its uncompleted state, it remains something of the not-yet.
Our lives at present often exist in this state. Scattered inside our hearts, inside our souls are the un-put-together pieces of singular hopes, dreams, relationships, experiences and unfinished happenings. Often, we revert to discouragement, accepting the belief that these many fragments will never fuse into a cohesive whole. We buy stock in the world’s view of hopeless chaos and settle for the scattered show.
But something better must exist. The pieces must be part of a greater whole. Combination, reconciliation of the apparent mess must be possible.
Someone once said that faith is seeing clearly in advance the things only understood in reverse, and Jesus lived this idea. He walked the earth with a focus on what existed beyond, living amid the fractured pieces, yet assured of the completed picture that proved to be possible. People asked him tangible questions, and he offered intangible answers. To the woman at the well, he offered living water, and she, baffled, expected liquid H2O.
And so, what does it mean to live with this vision? How does it temper our interpretation of the world and the unreconciled nature of circumstantial happenings? If we could believe in the not-yet, how would we read scripture?
“Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” (Romans 5:3-5)
“Now faith is being sure of what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1)
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” (John 14:1-4)
On what do you fix your focus?
What do you hope for in the not-yet?
How do you interact with God when you face discouragement in life?
How does an awareness of the eternal inform your day-to-day?