Alaska. I might, possibly, depending on a few unanswered questions, have an opportunity to go to Alaska. Not just to Alaska, but an isolated island to spend the summer helping a well-established author. I would even meet other authors. It’s a childhood dream of going to the frontier as a pioneer mixed with a current dream of connecting with and meeting authors who could guide me. (Did I mention Mountains? I want to be near mountains…). I wasn’t looking for it. It landed in my lap and sent my heart pounding and my mind rolling. Forget the fact that I might not be able to do this, I was excited.
I was excited.
I haven’t been really excited in a long time. Just the idea of something beautiful and filling was making me happy. And just being happy and excited made me more excited because I was dreaming. This could happen in just two months. Forget homework, forget sleep, my mind circled around and around the idea imagining standing by my two favorite sceneries, ocean and mountains, my unedited novel ready to receive some loving care even as I journalled descriptions for the sequel, which co-incidentally is about people isolated on a small island… I could go to one. Did I mention I had just prayed about that childhood dream of a living museum? This was a dream beyond a dream.
And then I realized. I have a dream… But I have a bigger dream.
We will kneel at our Savior’s feet.
The one whose resurrection just celebrated, the one whose death saved us, the one who made beauty and mountains and stories in the first place. Him. We will get to spend eternity with Him. As sure as it is that I will graduate (which right now feels very doubtful), no, more sure than the promise I will be handed a diploma on May 7, the certainty of God’s physical Kingdom covering the Earth is sealed in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
He will come and judge the living and the dead. And in that judgment, for those who confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, repent of their sins and chose to follow God, intimacy will be the result. Not the sometimes emptying kind of intimacy, the filling kind. Our adoption will be complete. We will be family with Christ and we will rule with him.
All beauty deepens in the chance to step into God’s presence. Colors will deepen, the awe of mountains will grow because we will be looking at their creator, who is so, so much bigger. We will be on our knees in worship. I won’t just be in the presence of a man who happens to have intelligence, I will be in the arms of the one who is the source wisdom.
In this hope, we don’t have to say “if God wills it.” He does. This is hope. We have a happy “ending.” It is not a scary one without life or color. It does not mean that we will be bored, no we will finally be satisfied. Our restless days will be calm. Our empty longings will be filled. The definition of intimacy will be found as we settle into who we were supposed to be. We will be, and are today, in the presence of the most holy, famous, powerful person who ever existed.
And we wait, with eager, active expectation for the world to be set right.
This is hope. Not dreams in possibilities, but certainty in the spectacular.