(Note: This post is published on this date intentionally. It was on this day in 1963 that C.S. Lewis departed this life in the hope of life eternal. May his memory be eternal.)
It’s no secret to those who know me well that I love words. I have a Favorite Quotes board on Pinterest that is full of quotations and thoughts that I love. As I was looking over it recently, I realized that I have pinned one quote from C.S. Lewis several times. “There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.”
Now, I love C.S. Lewis. That’s a known fact. I have many quotes from him on that Pinterest board. But clearly this quotation speaks to me at a deeper level. The quote is from Letters to an American Lady, and it is not meant to be optimistic about the future or a platitude for a graduation speech. Rather, it looks at and towards eternal life.
When I first realized that I had pinned this quotation at least three times, I was surprised. Yes, the quote is prettily formatted each time, but why did it keep popping up in my life? Why did I keep being encouraged and inspired by the same quotation? Yes, it’s from one of my favorite authors. Yes, the formatting is lovely. But why did the idea of better things ahead (in heaven) speak so strongly to me?
Some of it has to do with certain things that I’ve faced over the past few years. On difficult days, it is encouraging to look at this quote and remember that when we’ve shrugged off these mortal coils we will be in a place that is infinitely better. It’s also just a refreshing thought. When I’m slogging through a hard day, it’s nice to look at that quotation and realize that life won’t always be like this. Better days will come, and one day, a better place will come.
It’s also encouraging because it’s a very Biblical idea. This idea of better things ahead is something that the Lord has promised us.
And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”
And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. “He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son.
-Revelations 21: 2-7
Let me repeat my favorite piece of that. Behold, I am making all things new. When we get to the other side, all things will be made new. No more death, no more mourning or crying or pain-we can’t escape those things in this life. They’re part of life in this world. But when we enter eternal life, the former things will have passed away. In the new Jerusalem, we will have far better things than we could have ever imagined. And it will be so good.
But until that day, we live in hope. We live with our eyes fixed on what is to come.