WEEK SEVENTEEN: WHEN YOU SEE HIS FACE
There is a moment in my future that I anticipate with so much delight that I cannot express how wonderful it is. I can barely contain my excitement when I allow myself to think about it. It is more thrilling than any earthly moment I have ever looked forward to, even when I was a child and wildly anticipated Christmas and other events. This moment is unimaginable because there is nothing earthly to compare it to. It is the moment I first open my eyes in Heaven, and Jesus and I are gazing directly into each other’s faces.
I rarely allow myself the luxury of letting this excitement move me this way. I became committed long ago not to view my Christianity as a down payment on Heaven. I don’t live for the rewards (though I don’t deny them.) I so want to obey Him simply because I love Him that I shy away from dwelling on the glory and joy and spectacle of living eternally with Him in Heaven, but that is a part of my future I can bank on. Today, I felt God encouraging me to thrill to the anticipation of what comes next for me after I die.
I have just come from our Easter services that focused on the empty cross and the message of Resurrection. In his awe-inspiring prayer, our friend Tom alluded to the moment when Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene just after He had risen. She was going about her morning (Mark 16:2) when she turned and there was Jesus (verse 9)! She is so stunned that she cannot comprehend this is Jesus, but then He speaks her name and she knows (John 20:16).
I have that moment in my future, and if you have asked Him into your life, so do you. Do you find that as thrilling as I do? I think I will feel such relief and think, “At last, at last. I see my Savior face-to-face.” That relief was echoed when our musicians sang these words by Jeremy Camp:
There will be a day with no more tears,
No more pain, and no more fears
There will be a day when the burdens of this place
Will be no more, we'll see Jesus face to face.
The next song focused me even more on that day that I have anticipated for years yet that I will have no inkling of until it arrives—the day that I will turn, and there He will be. We will look into each other’s faces knowing each other honestly and being fully known, both of our faces full of so much mutual love. Oh, the joy! Oh, the excitement of the fulfillment of a long-awaited and long anticipated moment! His face! I will see His face!
The Gaither song describes that day this way:
And then one day, I’ll cross that river
I’ll fight life’s final war with pain
And then, as death gives way to vict’ry
I’ll see the lights of glory and I’ll know He reigns.
And that day is coming for me— an incomparable moment to look forward to daily as I walk with Him in a different way now on earth.
I have sometimes gotten a sense of this after losing a dear friend or family member. Because we are absent from the body and then present with the Lord, I know where my Christian friends are as soon as that last breath leaves their bodies. In the midst of my sadness and loss, I know deeply that they are experiencing a joy in that moment that I cannot comprehend, and I am happy for them. But today I am selfishly thinking about my moment, my first moment when I will not have the barriers I have now to just sitting and looking Jesus “full in His wonderful face” (Helen Lemmel).
If you are unsure of what you will experience one minute after you die, please contact me at Christianityadventures@gmail.com. I would love for you to know what is deservedly called “the greatest joy.”
Easter blessings on my brothers and sisters who are celebrating with me today. And blessings and good tidings of great joy to you if you do not know Jesus personally. Reading this today is just one part of what God is doing to reveal Himself to you one-on-one. Keep your heart and mind open to what He is trying to say to you so that one day you will have the thrill of seeing Him face-to-face.
Readings from the Bible:
The Gospel According to John