From the Heart by Roger Hathaway, August 14, 2005
It’s Sunday morning. My wife is gone with a friend, and I’m sitting alone, just pondering the eternal questions of the purpose of life, and what God is, and who I am, why I'm here, and what the end will be. Often, I have a deep feeling of spiritual destitution, that I am stumbling through life like a drunkard, hardly able to stand and not at all able to determine an end goal. Day after day passes at a petty pace as though there is nothing more to look forward to than an eternal future of the same until the last syllable of recorded time. It all seems so terribly meaningless at the emotional level.
Yet, I do hold a firm conviction that God’s promises will be fulfilled. I chastise myself for being so childishly impatient. And my cries to God are endless, pleading that the fulfillment is due because the end times are here, and it is time to free His children from this nightmare of World. I feel that Jesus’ sheep are swimming through crashing seas toward a distant light on shore, but never getting any closer. Lifetimes pass, and we encourage each other to keep swimming, but our words seem so hollow because fellow swimmers keep perishing all around us. We grieve for them, and try to deny the nagging feeling of despair that glooms within ourselves.
That distant light, toward which we swim, is on the other side of Jordan, on the shore of the heavenly promised land . According to the promises, the only way we can reach it is for this kingdom of World to perish in a great catastrophe. That will liberate us from the World’s ties which anchor us in place, out here in this maelstrom of darkness, ignorance, emotions, sensations, and earthly desires. Just as the Israelites left their homes and belongings behind them in Egypt, so it is that we must let go of our attachments to all things of this World, to be free like spirit-beings who have no material home. It is that end-time catastrophe for which I yearn and pray without ceasing, wanting it to happen before I get any older. I believe that I am an heir of the vineyard (heaven) prepared for us, and it is only after the crash of this World that I can begin that new life. I think so often of the saints hidden beneath God’s altar who cry without ceasing for God to bring the nightmare to an end. God answers them to be patient until all their brethren have been killed, and then the end can come. I ponder the wars which consume so many innocent lives of our people, and hope that the present one will bring to completion the gathering of flowers for the Master’s Bouquet.
This morning, while feeling the futility of swimming endlessly in this maelstrom, I asked God to speak to me. Say anything; just give me something to ease my despair. So, I took my Bible and without looking, opened it at random and placed my finger on a page at random. Then I looked to see what God might say to me. The passage was First Chronicles 21:26, which reads: "And having built there an altar to the Lord, he offered up the offerings of homage and thanksgiving, and cried to the Lord, and the Lord hearkened to him by fire from heaven upon the altar of the whole burnt offering, which consumed the burnt offering." (Septuagint, translation of Charles Thomson, 1808)
There it is! God saying that it will happen. The end will come. The wait is not futile. This entire World of material values and things will be consumed as a whole burnt offering, by fire from heaven! No time is given, but it is a divine reassurance that God’s pageant will be played out as promised, and we will be liberated from this nightmare. My heart can rejoice and my spirit can soar again.
I laugh at myself, and feel a bitterness in the same laughter. I’m so impatient, and wail without ceasing to Him for completion of this terrible bondage under the World’s lord, Satan. I laugh at my childish impatience, but I also feel a terrible anguish for my brothers and sisters who gave up and yielded to the World’s lure. God says that the branches which bear no fruit will be pruned from the vine, meaning that those who give up the struggle toward Him will be culled from the family and will not receive the inheritance which is reserved for the ones who overcome. In other words, there is no future life for those who love this World more than that distant lighthouse on Jordan’s shore.
Turning to this keyboard and this modern computer, I seek therapeutic relief for my depression by putting into words these thoughts from my heart. The rest of today will probably feel like a continuation of the endless nightmare, and I will repeatedly remind myself that the end really will come, perhaps even soon. My hope for that liberation will never decrease; nor probably will the anguish of waiting for time to pass. A hope that lifts me to heavenly heights and a despair that seems to anchor me to a horrid World, both existing in me at the same time.
Next to last verse of Revelation reads: "The one who testifies to these things (Jesus) says, ‘Yes, I am coming quickly.’ Amen, Come, Lord Jesus!"
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