Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:11(NLT)
I love happy endings. I love the feeling of anticipation as a movie or book reaches the end. You feel the tension rising. You see where the story line is headed. You may not know all the details, but you know “The End” is drawing near.
Don’t you wish life was like that? Wouldn’t it be great if there was always a nice, neat ‘happily ever after’ for every part of your life story? But there’s not a guaranteed happy ending. We don’t always know how things will turn out. We know that whatever happens God will work it for our good. We know from reading scripture that the ultimate end is good. God wins. The enemy loses. We live with God forever in a beautiful place. But between now and then? We know a few things to look for to know the time is getting close. We have some apocalyptic prophecies laid out in the book of Revelation. But exactly how it is going to play out? That’s a bit hazy.
We can’t see the ‘whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end’. We don’t know how things are going to work out. We don’t know how God is going to solve our financial problems. We can’t see a logical way to work out the mess we’ve made of our lives. It seems impossible for God to change the heart of our wayward child. We can’t see the happy ending.
Sometimes, we read the Word of God and we see the amazing stories of the lives of the men and women that God saw fit to put within the pages of Holy Scripture. I stand in awe and wonder at how God moved in their lives. But something hit me one day as I was reading about the life of Abraham in Romans 4:20. It was the phrase that said Abraham did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief. It says in God’s Word that Abraham did not waver. But if you read the story back in Genesis, it seemed like he did waver. Sarah wavered and gave Abraham her maid Hagar to bear the son. Abraham wavered when he took Hagar and bore a son with her. God clearly said to him that Sarah would bear the covenant son. This looked a lot like wavering to me.
Now I know and fully believe that God’s Word is inerrant. I know that God does not lie. I know that He does not make mistakes. But here it was right in front of me. I knew there had to be an explanation and I knew that I was going to have to seek if I was to find the answer. I pondered. I meditated. And one day, when I was thinking and reading about something completely different, the verse out of Ecclesiastes popped out at me. “He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.”
God has planted eternity in our hearts and we don’t know His work from beginning to end, but HE does! He is the great I AM! He is timeless. He is beyond and above the limits of time. When he looks at us, He sees us through the eyes of eternity! He sees us completed in His Son! He sees us covered by the Blood of Jesus. He sees His Righteousness! He saw Abraham’s end from the beginning. And He sees our end from the beginning. He sees the end of our story! He sees our ‘happily ever after!'
God looks at us through the eyes of eternity! He also chose to do a unique thing: He planted eternity in our hearts. Whether we choose to believe in eternity or not, it is real. It is part of who we are. I think those that say that we just cease to exist when we die aren’t really being honest with themselves. Why do I believe that? Because God planted eternity in their heart. There’s a seed of eternity there. It may be hidden deep down. It may not have been watered and nurtured. They may have tried to ‘pull it up’ and throw it out. But what God plants, man cannot destroy. Eternity is there.
And since eternity is in our heart, it influences how we perceive things. God looked at Abraham and saw his end from the beginning. All God saw was Abraham’s faithfulness!
When we look at situations, circumstances, and people through the eyes of eternity we see them differently. An eternal perspective helps us see past the here and now to the potential of what God can do! We see, through the eyes of faith, that God has a plan for our situations and circumstances. We see, through the eyes of faith, a soul for which Jesus gave His Life. We see that “God has made everything beautiful for its own time."
An eternal perspective is a perspective of hope. It is a perspective that sees the potential. It is a perspective that sees the best. It changes how we see everything!
What if we chose to see the best in people instead of the worst? What if we chose to give others the benefit of the doubt instead of doubting they are of any benefit? What if instead of jumping to conclusions we jump to their defense? Or better yet, we jump in to help? Or jump into the gap in prayer. What if we chose to see situations, circumstances, and people through the eyes of eternity? We just might see more ‘happy endings’ and ‘happily ever afters’.
Donna Sparks is an International Speaker and Evangelist. She is the Author of Beauty From Ashes: My Story of Grace, and, No Limits: Embracing the Miraculous.