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Beyond

“But we wait for what God has promised:

new heavens and a new earth,

where righteousness will be at home.

And so, my friends, as you wait for that Day,

do you best to be pure and faultless in God’s sight and to be at peace with him.

Look at the Lord’s patience as the opportunity he is giving you to be saved….

{2Peter 3:13-14}

///

Judy Garland sang of somewhere over the rainbow, playing the part of an innocent girl learning that the world is sometimes a scary place. My favorite scene of The Wizard of Oz was when Judy Garland’s clear voice sang that song and her innocent expression and sadly hopeful eyes filled the screen. Somehow it soothed my own fears of angry witches and horrible flying monkeys, because I, too, longed for that place over the rainbow.

Later, when I grew up and learned of the difficulties that Judy Garland faced in her life an the battle she lost against drug and alcohol addiction, the song became a sad reminder to me of the empty promises that we cling to for happiness. With sighing I realized that as much as we hope for bluebirds and rainbows, happy days and friendly lions, the blue beyond might be simply air and light, an azure vacuum of unfulfilled dreams.

Because real life is scattered with twisting pathways, dark places lurking with ugly enemies, confusion and loneliness. Is the hope of a better tomorrow or a blissful eternity enough to lure us along day after day? Is what lay beyond enough?

No.

It’s what lay behind and what (better, Who) exists within that puts foot to pathway in the journey of faith. Yes, faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see, but does God expect us to be irrationally optimistic about a daisy-chain-weaving future?

No, again.

Faith is paved with the gilded bricks of truth. {Titus 1:2-3}

Faith is framed in by Jesus’s life, death and resurrection. {Hebrews 4:14-16}

Faith is founded on the example of those who’ve lived before us. {Hebrews 11}

Faith is spurred on by those around us. {Hebrews 10:24-25}

That which lay beyond is proven in the dust of truth that clings to us as we plod through this life of faith and the grit of it’s reality caught under our nails when we grasp hold of Jesus during a free-fall. We may dream of “beyond”, sing about it and tell bedtime stories to our children about it, but to know faith and the promise beyond takes something else, something organic and palpable.

What lay beyond – that new heaven and new earth, where righteousness will be at home – is promise made good by living in the paradigm of faith on this side of the rainbow.

///

That which lay beyond is within you, behind you, before you, beneath you and above you {Psalm 139} and there is nothing vacuous about the promises of God.

///

This post is linked up with Gypsy Mama’s Five Minute Friday. The word for today is Beyond. Although I always spend more than five minutes on these posts, I love the idea of a one-word prompt. I encourage you to take a few quiet moments and write for just five minutes. You may be surprised by what you find when you pull back the covers a bit and write from your heart. As you enter the weekend, consider spending some time in the scriptures listed in the body of this post and let your faith be strengthened and your heart encouraged by the truth our God, past, present and beyond, has given you. Bless you, friends. {And listen to these “saints” in this pictureless video, you’ll be glad you did!}

Children’s Prayers from Life Center on Vimeo.

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writer, christian, wife, mom, happy person, thinker, gardener, encourager, reader...

4 Comments

  1. Absolutely awesome. God is everything. Faith or hope in anything else is fantasy and ends when the movie does…

    Nice, you are back and better than before.

  2. Danelle says

    “. . a daisy chain weaving future. . ”
    This made me smile Alyssa. Mostly because this is truth. While the Word tells us over and over that we will struggle in this life and those very struggles are where we will draw closest to Him. . .we still want the daisy chains don’t we? And when we can’t find the daisies to make our chain we can become bitter and lose our hope if we don’t have Him. Know Him.
    Beautiful words as always sweet friend.

  3. Alyssa, so eloquent – the part about Judy Garland and the innocence compared to what was later – from the first time I saw the Wizard of Oz on TV. I was madly in love with – I guess, not Judy Garland – but Dorothy. And the way you painted life – so true – twisting pathways – dark places – but faith that lights are footsteps. I hearted reading this whole thing – it’s a good reminder for me – one more reason to believe – light for our steps through this darkness. I appreciate that. Lots. God bless and keep you and each and every one of yours this day Alyssa.

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