The other day I bought a 150-foot rope from Amazon. After it arrived, I wrapped 1 inch of black tape around an end of that rope and piled it next to the pulpit for the following Sunday. Because I wanted to calculate the math of our eternal happiness.
When our church family gets together for worship, we bring all kinds of baggage, issues, and drama. She is trying to forgive her husband for his infidelity. He is struggling to find a job he can see himself doing for the next decade. They are coping with the news of liver cancer. We all are regretting our sinful choices from the past seven days. Collectively, we have thousands of reasons to grumble and give in to the brokenness of this world, including the brokenness of our own hearts.
But the rope reminds them to thank God for forever! All our struggles, compared to eternity, are like that tiny inch of black tape. You might feel like the drama drags on forever, but it doesn’t. It will all be over so soon, and then there is only the unending rope of the glory to come! Only smiles. Only relief. Only unity. Only love. Only God and his people, purified by the blood of the Lamb. Thank God for forever!
This is how the apostle Paul kept his spirits up (and how you can too): “We do not lose heart. . . . We fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:16,18).