I’m Getting There
Published 15 April 2012
"I'm Getting There." Have you heard this? When I ask a friend ‘How are you?' they sometimes respond "I'm getting there!", and then I feel tempted to follow with a further question ‘But where?'
Think about the How and the Where. On a deeper level they are significant for life itself, and indeed beyond this life. If we are walking, hiking or on a journey, we usually have a purpose and destination, but how and where are we going as we move through our personal life journey?
Most people don't want to think about their death or talk about it to others, until some serious accident or critical illness pulls them up with a jerk. We tend to put off the issue of dying and death, which comes to all of us sooner or later; sometimes sooner than we expected. We often use less threatening words and phrases to soften its reality. The Bible refers to the ‘fear of death' from which we may be freed (Hebrews 2:15), and when death comes, true Christians don't just pass away, they pass into God's nearer presence, the heavenly home, as his forever children.
The Bible has much to say to us about the journey and its earthly conclusion. Jesus Christ said ‘I am the way, the truth and the life'. He is the Way to God, the Truth about God and the very Life of God offered to us. Christianity was originally called ‘The Way' (Acts 9:2 and 22:14).
• The New Testament Gospels record his coming as God's love-
gift to the world (John 3:16) and his life and teaching,
culminating in his death and resurrection for us.
• The Acts of the Apostles records the impact of his continuing aliveness in people who have truly turned to God in repentance and faith. They have received forgiveness of sins and God's gift of eternal life which continues richer and fuller beyond our physical death. Will you be ‘getting there' eventually?
• The New Testament Letters share how it all works out in daily living through to journey's end with God.
‘Blessed assurance' is a favourite hymn and it is not presumption to affirm it. Paul declares in II Timothy 1:12 ‘I know whom I have believed'. In I John 5:13-20 we read that ‘You who believe may know that you have eternal life', and the phrase ‘We know' follows six times over in those eight verses. Blessed assurance indeed!
So much for the How of life's journey. But what of our destination? Heaven may seem a vague concept, but there are many certainties in Scripture for those who have set it as their destination during their life journey, being related to God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Eternal life is not a vague something to be realised after death but God's gift to be received now in Christ our Saviour.
Dr Billy Graham's wife Ruth once reached a construction site on a major road and followed detours and signs until the final one ‘End of construction. Thank you for your patience'. On arrival home, she told the family ‘When I die, I want that engraved of my stone'. During our life we are all under construction from conception to death, and this life is a preparation for a destination with God. ‘Home' is a lovely warm term on earth, and our heavenly home is assured when we respond, repent and relate to God through Christ in our life's journey.
Grasp the opportunity. Accept God's offer. How are you going and where are you going? Are you really ‘getting there' - with God?
These verses from a beautiful hymn by Dora Greenwell (1821 -1882) show us the way:
I take God at his word and deed: Yea, living, dying, let me bring
Christ died to save me, this I read: my strength, my solace, from this spring,
and in my heart I find a need that he who lives to be my King
of him to be my Saviour. once died to be my Saviour.
Rev Perry Smith, Belmont, NSW.