Saturday, July 26, 2014

For the first time in forever! (Joe Widick)

Tonight our article is again penned by my dear friend, Joe Widick. Joe taught with me at Friendship Christian School in Lebanon, Tennessee and later became the high school administrator. I was blessed to teach his three children and even teach with one, Lane, here at WCS. Joe is married to the lovely Elaine and serves full time as an elder and minister with the Maple Hill Church of Christ. Keep me in prayers as I work in Vietnam!

Recently Elaine and I had the opportunity to keep our youngest granddaughter, Josie.  Whenever we have a grandchild spend time with us, we try to do something to make it a special time.  For Josie we went out and purchased her all-time favorite movie “Frozen.”  Seeing her eyes light up when we told her what we were going to watch was priceless.  We all settled down to watch the movie together.  She had already memorized the songs and sang along with all the characters.  It was a good evening.  The story was an interesting story to follow.  I will not go into any details (not wanting to spoil it for anyone else).  During the movie there is a song that caught my attention—”for the first time in forever” was the catch phrase that made me begin to think about a variety of things.  

Go back in time with me to the day you became a Christian.  Think about the moment when you were lifted out of a watery grave, cleansed, forgiven, a new birth.  My guess is it was a joyous day.  And from that point in time, “for the first time in forever” you walked away a Christian, one of God’s children.  You may disappoint God as one of his children but “for the first time in forever” you had the opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of others as a Christian.  Do you remember the day you “really” fell in love with the one you would spend a lifetime with?  “For the first time in forever,” you knew that he / she would always be your best friend.  That through good health and bad health, for richer or poorer life would never be the same for you.  Can your mind go back to the days that your children were brought into this world?  And “for the first time in forever” you were a parent with all its ups and downs, with all the laughter and tears that accompany being a parent.  

There are many more “first time in forever” moments that come along in the course of one’s life.  There is however one more moment that I would like to remind you of.  It is that day that you step into eternity.  At that point it seems that the “first time in forever” phrase takes on new meaning, an eternal meaning.  As I study God’s word and reflect on that day, I do not fathom all that will take place.  It is difficult to think of being in God’s presence.  I am not able to comprehend the complete and total joy of life unending in that beautiful place called heaven.  I cannot put my arms around the idea of being with the wonderful saints who have gone on before me.  I cannot imagine what it will be like to have no pain or sorrow anymore.  I am unable to grasp the sheer joy of not being tempted by the evil one anymore.  And then I began to realize that this will not end a week or a month.  It will continue to go on and on and the excitement rises in me because it will be the “first time in forever” that I will be with my God.   

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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