This past Sunday, my church sang From The Depths of Woe by Indellible Grace. I love that song. There are two lines in that song particularly that I am drawn to
What though I wait the live-long night, and til the dawn appeareth, my heart still trusteth in His might; It doubteth not nor feareth; do thus, O ye of Israels seed, ye of the Spirit born indeed; and wait til God appeareth.
Though great our sins and sore our woes His grace much more aboundeth; His helping love no limit knows, our upmost need it soundeth. Our Shepherd good and true is He, Who will at last His Israel free from all their sin and sorrow
I'm pulled toward the significance of these two lines because one thing they share in common; the hope we have in our full and final rescue from the "estate of sin and misery" as the Westminster Catechisms describe. Both of these lines refer to the blessed eternity those who are purchased of God will enjoy in glory; an eternity with God himself.
But I have to tell you... I often don't think of eternity.
In fact, I came across a Facebook post from one of my professors that said, "Pause for a moment and think about eternity". And as I began to do exactly that I realized that my mind hadn't intensely focused on that in a little while.
The reasons for that could be manifold. Perhaps it's because I'm used to living within a materialist culture that doesn't operate in categories pertaining to eternity. Perhaps it's that, but it's likely moreso because I am too often occupied with the here and now of my life that it is an active decision for me to think of heavenly things.
Romans 8:25 describes this hope as a hope for what we do not yet see, but we wait for it with patience. It is precisely that "do not yet see" part that makes it so easy to lose focus. It's so easy for us to be like Thomas. But just like there was grace for Thomas, there's grace for me. Yet, I want to grow in my active waiting for this hope... not passive waiting. I want to be more and more enamored by the wondrous eternity that is to come... not just drift by.