Girlfriends in God - May. 19, 2011

May 19, 2011

The Forever People

Mary Southerland


Today’s Truth
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever (Psalm 23:6, NIV).

Friend to Friend
Life is a marathon – not a fifty yard dash. When the psalmist says, “I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever,” he is reminding us that we were created for eternity. But instead of focusing on eternal things, we waste precious emotional energy and priceless spiritual power by fixing our gaze on the here and now. I am not saying that we need to ignore what God gives us to do today because the truth is that each step on each day’s path is filled with God ordained opportunities. What I am saying is that much of our stress comes when we measure life and hold it up against the wrong backdrop. 

When our son was a little boy, he was photogenic and a full-fledged ham in front of just about any camera. I will never forget the day that a simple photo session turned into a holy moment for me.

Christmas was just around the corner which meant that it was time for new pictures. It seemed like everyone was having a special - you know the ones I’m talking about – where you get a ridiculous number of pictures for $2.99. When we arrived for our appointment, I was amazed to find that we were the only ones in the studio. The photographer took one look at the blue outfit Jered was wearing, and began to move props, pull down a different backdrop and rapidly snap pictures. Jered laughed, called out to the audience of shoppers strolling by and in general, put on quite a show. I was so proud!

When the session was done, the photographer asked if he could take some extra shots for his studio walls. Now I ask you, what mother is going to refuse that offer? Certainly not this one! For over an hour, Jered was framed against different colored backdrops as the photographer worked his magic. I began to notice a pattern. The blue backdrop made Jered’s bright blue eyes dance while the red backdrop heightened his jet black hair. With every backdrop, Jered’s appearance changed slightly. In was then that God quietly unveiled an extraordinary truth in an ordinary moment. 

We must be very careful to choose the right backdrop against which we live our lives. Our backdrop is eternity – not the tyranny of urgent demands made by a relentless world. Our backdrop is an old rugged cross and an empty tomb – not the temporary trials or painful circumstances we face in this very fleeting life. We are “forever” people. Like the old song says, “This world is not my home. I’m just passing through.”

My favorite words in the Bible are “but God.” Those two words create an eternal backdrop that changes everything. Everything looks different when He comes. Everything is made different by His presence. To survive and succeed in life, we must stop and take the long look, refusing to fix our gaze on the “little things” that are meant to divert God’s plan. If we want to live a life of victory, our glance must be on the circumstances and ourgaze must be on Him.

A beekeeper once told pastor and evangelist, F.B. Meyer, how young bees are nurtured to ensure their healthy development. The queen lays each egg in a six-sided cell which is filled with enough pollen and honey to nourish the egg until it reaches a certain stage of maturity. The top is then sealed with a capsule of wax. When the food is gone, it is time for the tiny creature to be released. However, the wax is so hard to penetrate that the bee can only make a very narrow opening. In fact, the opening is so narrow that in the agony of exit, the bee rubs off the membrane that encases its wings. When the bee finally does emerge, its wings are strong enough to fly. The beekeeper said that a moth once got into the hive and devoured the wax capsules. The young bees easily escaped the capsule but they could not fly.

Choosing an eternal perspective is a spiritual discipline that makes stress yield to God’s peace. Does that mean we will float through each day without facing trials, defeats, enemies or impossibilities? No – but it does mean that the backdrop against which we view those dark moments will be replaced with the truth that there is an eternal purpose in every pain and that is through the struggle out of that darkness that we gain the strength to fly and become all God created us to be – now and forever.

Let’s Pray
Father, thank You for the eternal life I have in You. Forgive me when I get so caught up in the things of this world that I forget who I am and where I am going. I am Your child. I am Your daughter and my home is in Heaven with You. Praise God!

In Jesus’ name,


Now it’s your turn
Does your life reflect the truth that you were made for Heaven?

Against what backdrop are you living your life?

Read Philippians 3:20. “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control; will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body” (NIV).

Where is your eternal citizenship?

More from the Girlfriends
If you have surrendered your life to Jesus Christ and made Him the Lord of your life, you can celebrate that fact that your eternal citizenship is in Heaven. But if you don’t know Him, today is the day to invite Him into your life. Need help? Click HEREto find out how to make the most important decision of your life.

Mary’s weekly online Bible StudyHow to Handle Hurtwill help you learn how to face and deal with the pain in your life. Need a friend? Connect with Mary on Facebookor through email.

Seeking God?
Click here to find out more about
how to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

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Originally published Thursday, 19 May 2011.