“When life begins to come together in a way we have always longed it would, something deep inside us whispers, Maybe it can always be like this . . . . It is the longing for Eden rising within us, and it is beautiful and powerful. Only . . . it is premature.”- John Eldredge
John Eldredge continues Chapter 17 of Moving Mountains by reminding us that we are “going to have to come to terms with the partial nature of this life.” Everyone longs for life. It is the driving force of all humanity. Our longing for life not only compels us to pray, but also sustains us through long and difficult prayer.
When we observe the kingdom of God triumphant in this world, hope surges within us- and that is good. John cautions, however, that the subtle shift that follows is not good. The apostle Paul’s life was magnificent, powerful, and triumphant. Yet, he suffered incredible hardships. Paul understood that there is only one paradise- and we are not there yet.
Mr. Eldredge writes that we always can be victorious. It just depends on how we define victorious. Or better yet, it depends on what God means by victorious.
The author compares life to the first days of a new school year. The first few days are an easy and comfortable transition back. Then the real classwork begins. God is maturing us- growing us up. Our classwork- the goal of that maturing process- is not a life free from affliction. At least not yet. God has something far greater and higher for us than temporal happiness.
As John describes next, the beauty of holiness in the face of chronic, severe affliction is “unparalleled by anything else in all creation.”
Today’s question: How does longing for Eden interfere with holiness? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “The purpose of life”