He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. Ecclesiastics 3:11
How heavily eternity is set up on my heart this morning. I can feel its weight on my spirit. I think that I always carry it around me. It is not something I can wrestle with for a time and lay it down or tuck it away for a rest. I only momentarily distract myself from its impending presence for a time with the busyness of life. But when I rest, when all is quiet, in the slumber of my consciousness as I lay in bed at night, my soul is contemplating eternity.
I believe in the immortal soul. The bible's most famous verse teaches of the immortality of our souls. "That whoever believes in Him will have life eternal" (John 3:16). Over and over the Word speaks of the gift of eternal life. He has set the very longing in our hearts to ponder when we are still. History has proved this point. Since ancient times people have been wondering at eternity, building monuments to the idea, and inventing stories to answer their questions. "And yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end" (Ecclesiastics 3:11).
Even a child can marvel at eternity, as I was a child. It was the thought of eternity that made me put my trust in Christ. One summer night, my father let me camp out on the flat top roof of my childhood home. There in the still and heaviness of the hot summer air, we studied the stars overhead. My father pointed out the constellations and wondered aloud at the vastness of the universe. In that moment, eternity was set upon my heart. I wanted to know this God who already knew me and told Him that He could have all of me. I could not fathom what God had done from beginning to end. A creator so vast, he made the universe in all its glory, yet made me also to know my every detail. "By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth" (Psalm 33:6). Do not let those words wash over you beloved, but encounter them fully. He BREATHED the stars into existence. He SPOKE and the heavens were made. What a mighty God I serve. I feel as if these words are too holy even to write and I need a moment to be brought to my knees before my fingers can continue.
But wait, we go deeper still.
Genesis 2:7 says, " Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being." Hear this, He BREATHED into man the breathe of life. The star-breather also with this same power gave us life. And then, set eternity in our hearts.
I exist in one time. The past is behind me and I know nothing of the future. Yet, my soul knows of eternity, to last forever and ever without end. God is not the same. IT says in Isaiah 55:9, “as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts." He is so much more than we can fathom.
"I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty" (Revelation 1:8). He WAS, HE IS, and HE IS TO COME. He is timeless. He exists in the past, he exists in our present, he is already in our future. Time cannot constrain Him, for He created it. He is above time or our understanding of it. He is not bound by the rules of the universe, which HE created.
Time has alluded humanity, yet we have always sought to understand it. We wish we could go back in time to change the things that are. We study the universe and seek to explain time. Science currently acknowledges four dimensions of the universe, and theories like String Theory propose 10 dimensions or more dimensions that speak to both space and time. Imagine more than our four dimensions. Where the past might be a canyon you can climb into and the future a mountain we can climb up (Interstellar 2014). Imagine that you are not bound by time or gravity or space. This is our God.
Eternity weighs so heavily on my spirit. There is a disconnect between my body and my spirit. My body is only temporary, but my soul is eternal. It longs for eternity, for higher, for deeper, for where it was created to reside. My soul is made of something more, something that goes beyond space, beyond time. A soul is something spiritual, something like God, for we were made in His image (Genesis 1:27). And we are not our own. "Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price" (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
My souls longs for eternity with Christ. And I need that, for our mortal days are in ruin. Our mortal days we have spoiled with wrong-doing and regret. Oh how I regret some things that I have walked through in this life. I grieve the things that are lost. My heart aches for the things of the past. I can never go back. What songs have been sung, what tears have been cried by humanity wishing that time was a canyon they could climb into. I think my soul knows of more of this than I do. That is why when my heart and my mind sleep, that my soul cries out into time, into eternity, calling out into what was and what is and what will be. My soul knows of eternity and longs for the day that all could made right within it.
God knows of our need for these answers to questions with out words.
"In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans" (Romans 8:26). My soul does not have words for what it longs for, for there are no words. This is why the Word uses the word "groaning" to describe the lamentations of the spirit; they are of pain and longing in this imperfect world.
I study His promises because I need to know that there are answers beyond the questions I can even ask. I need to know that there are dimensions that He understands and operates within that are beyond the understanding of my insignificant mind, I need to know that God is beyond time. Ecclesiastics 3:11 is my comfort.
"He has made everything beautiful in its time."
I need all my regret to be made beautiful. I need to know that my past and my heartache will be be made beautiful. IN ITS TIME. Time is relative. And I know that His ways are not my ways, likewise His time is not my time. But my soul is eternal, and I hang on the the promise that in one moment, it all will be made beautiful.
Love is calling to me across the universe, through the dimensions, through space and time. God is love. He has already made everything beautiful, for He is already there.
Ecclesiastes 3 A Time for Everything3 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
9 What do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.
15 Whatever is has already been,
and what will be has been before;
and God will call the past to account.[b]
16 And I saw something else under the sun:
In the place of judgment—wickedness was there,
in the place of justice—wickedness was there.
17 I said to myself,
“God will bring into judgment
both the righteous and the wicked,
for there will be a time for every activity,
a time to judge every deed.”
18 I also said to myself, “As for humans, God tests them so that they may see that they are like the animals. 19 Surely the fate of human beings is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath[c]; humans have no advantage over animals. Everything is meaningless. 20 All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return. 21 Who knows if the human spirit rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?”
22 So I saw that there is nothing better for a person than to enjoy their work, because that is their lot. For who can bring them to see what will happen after them?
Special Education Teacher (Snyder, TX)