In the Lord of the Rings book Return of the King, there is a moment when some good friends are reunited after being separated for a long time. When they finally come back together they are overjoyed, not only to see each other alive, but to hear about each other’s adventures. They sit down and one at a time recount everything that had happened to them. They connect the dots and compare it to their own adventures and it all made more sense. These reunions were joyful and rich and it was hard not to be drawn into the joy they felt when they saw their friends again.
Revelation gives us a picture of a distant day when everyone who believes in Christ will see him. In Revelation 21:3-4 we read:
“Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, not pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.“
Then in 22:3-5:
“No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.
What an incredible scene! No mourning, pain, death, hurt, tears. His children will see him and his name will be their foreheads.
Standing there in God’s presence everything will make sense from our birth to death. We will embrace and nothing will be accursed. What an incredible day that will be.
Yet, the battle wages on. We are confronted with the pain in this world as a result of sin. We’ve all turned our backs on God and chosen to worship created things rather than the creator and it’s resulted in chaos and brokenness everywhere. No one in a war zone is safe from its horrors. Those who belong to Christ experience pain and brokenness just like everyone else. The difference is their hope.
Paul Miller reflects on Psalm 23 in his book A Praying Life that both the believer and the non-believer walk through the valley. The difference is the non-believer’s eyes are on the valley, while the believer’s eyes are on the Savior.
We experience brokenness in this world, but there is hope everlasting through Christ who is our Lord, Savior, friend and loving father. And one day he will embrace all who call on his name (Rom 10:9-10).
On that day there will be joy and laughter. To quote J.R.R. Tolkien, “everything sad will come untrue.” Every tear will be wiped away and we will understand why we had to cry them. All these things will be true on that day. That day will be the best day of our lives. When we see Him.