"He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world."
When Dennis had his stroke, in the first ten minutes before the ambulance came, I had the strangest experience. It seemed as if time were suspended, as if Dennis and I were alone together in the universe, with no awareness of any other place outside that spot on the bedroom floor where he had fallen, no awareness that anything existed outside our own present experience.
I had no thoughts of the past or the future. I was not yet grieving or even afraid. I was suspended in shock, and obviously anxious, but not for what might be coming, only for what was happening right then. My mind and heart were rooted in that present moment, in that present place.
I believe in those few moments Dennis and I were existing, together, not in time, but in eternity. We were existing in the state in which we had been chosen by God, before "time" and "space" were created--before "the foundation of the world."
The amazing Truth is that our identity, our calling, our reason for being is rooted in eternity. That's when God chose us, when He determined that we would be born, that we would die, at a particular time, and in a specific place in history.
In the same way, our destiny is rooted in eternity. Jesus said,
"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am." (John 14:1-3)
Jesus' statement is full of references to both place and time, but He is referring to a "place" and "time" that will be outside the realm of both. He has prepared a place in eternity for us. In that "place" we will exist in an eternal "moment" that will be full of a kind of bliss we can't even imagine down here.
He's promised us that. In that "place" and at that "time,"
"He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." (Revelation 21:4)
In those few moments as I sat beside Dennis on the floor, holding him, waiting through what seemed like an eternity before the ambulance came, it was as if the veil were removed.
All the barriers were down--all the barriers that we construct over a lifetime to protect us from the harshness of the broken world we are all born into--the barriers that separate us from each other--the barriers that separate us from our Creator and from heaven.
They were all gone.
In that moment, Dennis and I existed, together, in the "place" and at the "time" when we had been chosen by God. It was a moment of eternity, and, though it was an unbelievably anxious time, there was a sense of awe about it.
Dennis stayed in that moment.
I will be there one day as well.
Joy will come to stay in that morning moment.
A great hope!