I awoke this morning to terrible news: first, an acquaintance of mine who has been fighting Lyme’s Disease passed on. Secondly, Daisy Merrick, who I never met but prayed for regularly, lost her battle with cancer.
Death is a monster. Every twinge of pain is a reminder that something is wrong with this world.
The orthodox Christian view of history can be summarized: Creation, Fall, Redemption, Restoration.
Creation – In Genesis 1, God created the Heavens and the Earth…and it was good. God, the Creator, the Maximally Perfect Being, created Time and Space with a word. Then He populated our universe and our planet, creating Man in His image. And it was good. God created as it should be. What happened?
Fall – Just 2 chapters later, mankind has an opportunity to destroy the work that God has done, forever marring the perfection. We take that opportunity. This is the point where death entered the world and with it shame, guilt, disease, pain, and every other horrible thing. We took creation from perfection to imperfection – an infinite distance. What can we do to fix it? How can it be undone?
Redemption – Like Humpty-Dumpty, all the King’s horses and men are at a loss. But the King himself is not. He decided to make things right, and so Christ descended and became like us. Let that sink in just for a second: the Creator became like his Creation in order to fix it. That’s perfect humility. Christ, the God-Man lived a perfect life and died so that we wouldn’t have to. Christ’s purpose was to die. The one thing we hate most and fear most, Christ took head-on. Then He conquered it. This is redemption. God, paying the price for our disobedience, buying back His people and His planet from the broken state, and in one fell swoop, He killed death.
Restoration – Soon, Christ will come back and make all things new again. This is when pain and death will cease. This is when Glory comes in fullness. This is when our desires will be corrected and fulfilled. This is what we are waiting for.
But it’s difficult, being in this holding pattern of “Already Redeemed” but “Not Yet Restored”. We cannot see the restoration, so we wonder, “Why him? Why her? Why now? Why the pain?!” No, we cannot see it, but the Bible teaches that every ounce of pain and every shed tear will become something beautiful. In some mysterious way, God will restore not only the broken things of this world, but even the pain caused by this world, and make it wonderful. Heaven will be all the more glorious because of how thoroughly He restores.
I believe that Daisy and Jimmy are both standing in the presence of Jesus right now. Maybe they already know the answers to the questions we are asking. Maybe Jesus has told them just to wait a little bit before He explains. Either way, they are not suffering now. They are experiencing the first stages of restoration – peace with Christ.
My prayers are with their families, that the could experience the gift of Redemption here and now: the peace of Christ. Even in our ignorance, the Holy Spirit gives a supernatural peace that surpasses understanding.
And so we wait for the day when all things are made new.