Yours Forever, Because of Him
In the movie, A River Runs Through It, there is a scene where two adult brothers go fly-fishing with their preacher father. The younger son, whose life is spiraling downward in gambling and drink, catches a magnificent trout because of his masterful technique with the fly rod. The older son snaps a photo of his brother smiling and holding the great fish, as the narration (done by the older son) continues… “It was like a work of art. I knew I was looking at perfection. But life is not art. And I knew the moment could not last.” The story continues with the younger son rejecting the help of all those who loved him until his life is forfeited through his excesses. The movie closes with the remaining son, now an old man, fishing once again in the same river and thinking back on all the things that couldn’t last. The river was a symbol of the relentless onward march of time and the impossibility of retrieving even a single moment of the past.
That scene set me to thinking. I thought about the innocence of youth and how it could not last in a world like ours, cursed as it is by human sin. I thought about the fervor of young love and what time would do to it. I thought about physical vigor and how the years sap our strength. I thought about mental powers and how, even at my tender age, I am so forgetful. I even thought about my old hometown…how much has changed that cannot be recalled. I cannot go back and roam the places where once I ran, played and climbed freely as a child. The woods are gone now…houses have been built there. The people I knew are long gone out into the world or out of the world. I thought of early married life and my babies in my arms and on my back, but they are grown now and living many miles from us. So many moments…so many things that could not last.
Then I thought, what we really need is something that lasts. Thank God that through Jesus Christ we have it. Things don’t last, but redeemed people do. The outward person doesn’t last for we waste away physically, but the inward person created anew by Jesus Christ does last. Suffering doesn’t last…even severe suffering…long-term suffering…doesn’t last forever for God’s beloved, but glory is eternal. Doubts don’t last, but faith does. Painful memories don’t last forever, for earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal. What we see doesn’t last, but hope lasts. Hatred doesn’t last, but love does. Sin doesn’t last, but mercy and grace abide forever. Life isn’t art, it’s true! But life in Christ is unending art. As God’s redeemed people, “You are God’s workmanship, and you will last because of Him!”
F. W. Faber said this, “Eternity will not be long enough to learn all He is, or to praise Him for all He has done; but then, that matters not, for we shall always be with Him, and we desire nothing more.”
Permit me one more quote, for it perfectly expresses my heart towards you. This one is by William Cowper as he wrote to a beloved cousin. “There is not room enough for friendship to unfold itself in full bloom in such a nook of a life as this. Therefore I am, and must, and will be, yours forever.”
I love that…I love you…and, my, how we love our Father God Who made all the good stuff possible!