The day will come when we will get the whole picture.
This is how I imagine it would be. We will all come before our great God. All that we have ever done, said and thought would be brought before him. We will come before him alone, and we will come before him with those we have interacted with.
I thought about this after thinking with sadness how there are people close to us who become separated from us because of irreconcilable differences. Do you have a loved one with whom you have lost a closeness because of past differences and hurt? A close friend, a sibling, a parent, perhaps?
You loved each other dearly--you still do--but you cannot see eye to eye. Any contact between you causes so much mutual pain. There has been forgiveness on both sides but reconciliation has been difficult.
You’ve searched your soul and read the Word and you so believe that you are right. And that the other person is not. It has been impossible to let them see your view. They feel exactly the same way. Any contact is either superficial or brings strain and heartache. In the end, it seems the best way is to love them from afar.
I imagine that one day we will come before God and everything that has been said would be brought before him, like a video on replay. Before the Lord, every intent and reasoning would be made plain.
Oh how I would be able to put my defense up (finally) and explain things. And God would say, “You see, it was like this…” Yes, I will be understood, exonerated and vindicated.
Wait a minute. The sword cuts both ways. I will be understood but so will the other person. Before our Judge will come every thought and intent. The more I thought about this, the scarier it became.
Every thought and intent of mine will also be in the open. There is another side to this picture. Whatever wrongs I have committed would be brought out in true light too. Oh Lord, I will be very humbled.
I thought back at some of my secret thoughts. Superficial judgements of people I do not even know. Lustings, selfish motives, dishonorable intentions, smugness, self-righteousness, pride. How about those times when I was really showing off the talents and possessions that the Lord had given me even though none of it was my doing but his grace? The times I displayed purity when my heart was far from holy?
I cringed at the thought that one day all these have to be answered to before God. I would have to hang my head in shame. How my heart would tremble with fear. The truth will be out. Everyone will finally know what wretched thoughts I can have. It was a very sobering thought.
It sent a warning bell to me that really, I have to live my life accountable to the Lord. As I grow older in the Lord, it has become more and more obvious to me that not all my thoughts and responses are honorable. I sometimes say things that even my 14-year-old son can correct. My gut reactions can sometimes be so bad that it disappoints me even and I have to correct myself, that is if I even catch it. How thankful I am that there is no sign on my forehead that says “Christian” when I get impatient and unkind to innocent folks (like untrained service staff!) As if my self-chastisement is not enough, my son (again) seems to have the knack of picking up my weakness in patience with a “Is that Christian, Mom?”
How I have to seek God’s help for me to hold every thought captive to Jesus. I am encouraged by 1 John 3:19-20: “By this I will know that I am of the truth and will assure my heart before him; for if my heart condemns me, God is greater than my heart, and knows all things.”
How we really must yield to the Holy Spirit so that we become aware of our sins and confess them to the Lord. We have to keep short accounts with him.
Yet because of Jesus’ work on the cross I can look forward to meeting our God, Elohim, the mighty one who judges because he is Hashem, the God of mercy, and he is El Ro’i, the God who sees me and loves me. I look forward to it because we are brought in the open before a loving Father who is Truth.
The Lord will show the thoughts and intent behind every action. We will be pleased to see where we were right and he will gently point out where we judged wrongly. And you would go, “Hmm...no wonder…I am so sorry…what about this time?” And the Lord would say, “She did this because of… and reacted this way because 20 years ago when she was a child this happened that made her think this way…”
And as he unravels the picture, we would stand in humble understanding, and we will finally see. And when we do, there will be many “hmms” and “aahs.” I wonder if I would then still feel vindicated. More probably, there would be asking for forgiveness and giving forgiveness. How our hearts will soften.
No doubt, there will be tears, of regret, of repentence, of sadness that we had misunderstood and hurt the other person. But as he promised, he would wipe that away for us. We might also be wiping each other's tears away.
What a day that will be. There will be forever to find all these things out and make amends.
This brings deep comfort to me; that one day the truth will be known and repaid, and redressed. It brings great hope to me that those I love but have in their eyes failed to show love to in this temporary existence will be loved again in Christ’s perfectness and in eternity.
Keep his light shining.