A Standing Ovation

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
– 2 Corinthians 4:17, 18

Years ago, I had been traveling for 8 days and speaking in 14 different venues. I was tired, lonely, frazzled and my energy was totally drained. My plane was delayed and I called Cathy to tell her I would be home much later than planned. This was before 9/11/2001 and I knew my family would be greeting me at the gate right when I got off the plane. My daughters were very young at the time and often Cathy would dress them up in cute dresses with bows in their hair. The plane arrived far beyond their bedtime and since I was coming from the East Coast, it was early morning for me. When the plane landed, I picked up my carry on luggage and made my way to the gate. People were lined up on each side of the aisle as we slowly walked off the plane. All of a sudden I saw my little daughter Heidi. She had a huge smile on her face. She stepped out in the middle of the aisle and shouted, “There’s my daddy!” She began to give me a standing ovation! Others smiled and then they also gave Heidi’s daddy a standing ovation. It was amazing how my exhaustion left me with the joy and enthusiasm of my greeting from Heidi.

Now just for a moment, close your eyes and imagine you have just died. (morbid thought I know but one thing is certain, you will one day die). I am told that for many, there is a white light taking you to heaven to spend eternity with God. Your family will be sad, but you will be ecstatic. As you enter heaven there is a crowd waiting for you with perhaps even people you know who have gone before you lined up creating an aisle for you to walk through. When all of a sudden, Jesus steps into the middle of the aisle and calls your name. Then he does a most remarkable thing, he gives you a standing ovation. Jesus Christ our Lord claps for joy and your entrance into eternity.

Why is it that we focus so much on the problems of the day? We are so anxious about our problems that we miss developing an eternal perspective. All our problems will not go away with an eternal perspective but our life will be focused on the right priority. And that is to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37). Make your decisions today based on an eternal perspective. God’s love is unfailing for you today and for eternity.

1. What problems are you facing right now which consume your time and attention?

2. Think through what weight these problems really have in light of eternity. What decisions can you make today to help you live your life with an eternal perspective?

Matthew 6:25-34; Philippians 4:6

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Jim Burns

Jim Burns is the president of HomeWord. He speaks to thousands of people around the world each year. He has close to 2 million resources in print in 20 languages. He primarily writes and speaks on the values of HomeWord, which are: Strong Marriages, Confident Parents, Empowered Kids, and Healthy Leaders. Some of his most popular books are: Confident Parenting, The Purity Code, Creating an Intimate Marriage, Closer, and Doing Life with Your Adult Children. Jim and his wife, Cathy, live in Southern California and have three grown daughters, Christy, Rebecca, and Heidi; three sons-in-law, Steve and Matt, and Andy; and three grandchildren, James, Charlotte and Huxley.

  • About HomeWord

    HomeWord helps families succeed by creating Biblical resources that build strong marriages, confident parents, empowered kids and healthy leaders. Founded by Jim Burns, HomeWord seeks to advance the work of God in the world by educating, equipping, and encouraging parents and churches. Learn More »

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