By Ivan Miller – Piqua, Ohio
Most of my life I’ve been a “destination man.” I’ve had places to go, people to see and definitely things to do—of course right now!
But, as I grow older and hopefully wiser, my perspective is changing. Recently, I was talking with Michael Burrows to learn about the local “Skate Church” that the younger Christian Family Fellowship crowd is developing in nearby Troy.
One thing in our conversation that got my attention was when he said that they see the beginning, and he’s got a picture of where it’s going, but that “the in-between” is not yet revealed.
It’s a Walk, Not a Destination
This got me to thinking about the individual “journey” that describes our spiritual walk with God. My wife, Patti, also looks at life as a journey about which she’s been encouraging me for 30-40 years.
Some scriptures come to mind.
“As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.” Genesis 8:22 KJV
“The end of a matter is better than the beginning, and a patient spirit is better than a proud one.” Ecclesiastes 7:8 KJV
During the fall, when we take a drive down our country roads in western Ohio, we see corn and beans being harvested. The seed that was planted the previous spring has grown over time and produced fruit.
There’s a beginning — the seed- and an end — the harvest. And I’ve come to realize that the time in-between describes the journey of life.
Between the Mountain Peaks
The two mountain peaks of my journey are the beginning and the end. The cross of Christ is the beginning, and his return will be the end of this limited physical existence.
“For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” 1 Corinthians 2:2 KJV
That’s where I started. My life changed. Old things passed away and all things were new.
What I look forward to is Jesus Christ’s return—a shout, a trumpet, my new body—the WOW!
“And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.” 1 Thessalonians 3:12,13 KJV
“And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 5:23 KJV
“For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.” 1 Corinthians 11:26 KJV
Communion is the remembrance of the cross and what was accomplished, his coming and what’s in store. I heard it said, “No past but the cross; and no future but his coming.”
Our journey lies in-between. So, what do we do?
“Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God … Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.” 2 Peter 3:12, 13 KJV
Being blameless in God’s sight is a major theme in our Christian journey!
“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” 1 John 3:1-3 KJV
We’ve been called by God our Father. Our true beginning is the incorruptible seed that we receive by the work of the cross.
Our life lived for Him is our journey. And the glorious end is, “He’s Coming Back!”
Ivan and Patti have been functioning pastors for over forty years and serve on CFF’s Pastoral Care Team. They have three grown children, one grandchild and one great-grandchild. They are retired and growing in what their “re-fire-ment” journey looks like.