Right Now Counts Forever -
Right now counts forever. I know that many of you are thinking "that's an article by R.C.Jr." and you would be right. You can read it HERE. I read it in my Dad's Tabletalk magazine a few months ago and the one part struck me was this excerpt -
"We are called to give thanks to our Father in heaven for every good gift. We must never allow our passion for the gift to obscure our view of the Giver. Instead, we should look through every good gift to see and to praise the Giver.
This is our Father's world. While His law may give us liberty, we are never free not to give thanks. While God does not see vanilla ice cream as sin and strawberry as righteousness, He does require that we thank Him, that we remember with joy that He is our Father who gives us these things. Indeed, both the kingdom we are called to seek and the righteousness we are called to seek are built from our gratitude. Remember, again, that He rules over all things. His kingdom is not only forever, it is everywhere ....
The ordinary things of this world - the mundane - are not mere artifacts of culture. They are not merely the tools of the natural realm. They are instead precious gifts from our heavenly Father. They are given to us for His glory. And our gratitude will redound for eternity. Everything, adiaphora or not, connects with our Father above. Nothing is merely human. How we handle his gifts therefore matters. That is why we would be wise to remember that right now counts forever." ~ Written by R.C. Sproul Jr.
When I read it, it stuck in my mind for weeks and months on end. And as of late, it has taken on another meaning as well....as things in life draw to a close, or when I feel so many years take on one time and moment, I can feel my soul whispering - "Now. Jesus is here now. Right now counts. It counts forever. This is what you remember later. That heaven fills this moment."
Taking time in that moment, right then, and thanking God for it. Blessed be my Father for His indescribable gifts, big or small .... all good things flow from His heart into His world for me to see. Thanks only, alone ... to Jesus for this right now. For this NOW.
It happens in the smallest and the hugest times. When I least expect it, something fills my heart and I can hear the truth whispering "now. Right now counts forever". Like my whole self is so captured in this moment that God gives that I have to remember it forever and ever.
That moment at the stoplight when nothing was unordinary, but the light spilled out just so.
Those moments when I saw Atlantis coming out of the VAB, and I knew I'd remember it forever, the way I cried when they played "America the Beautiful" by Ray Charles, and the way my daddy looked so proud seeing it go by on the crawler. The way I felt at home with perfect strangers, bound by a love for NASA and a love for our astronauts and orbiters.
Waking up in the morning to look at the face of God's gift of my dog, seeing the joy in her little eyes and receiving her kisses on my cheek.
Kneeling next to a place that so plumbed the depths of my soul last year. Grass covered the sand, and wind moved the moss, and the loss felt just as great, but God was there too. "Still, soul. Be still here. God is here."
Watching the dearest children run giggling through the July sunset rays, only to be captured in a hug of sisterhood and sunflare and all that is peace at the moment is that God is here. Right now counts forever. This is it, Father. You are my morning sky and my night sunset.
I threw my cellphone in the dirt, and ran into her arms, screaming. My joy could not, would not, be held back. After too many months of waiting and praying and nightmares and fear .... and suddenly, there he was. I could not get Baby Avery into my arms fast enough. I could barely focus on anything else. I did not hear anything his loving parents said. I could see in Audra's eyes what I could not say .... I held prayers answered in my arms in the name of Avery. I kissed his head for the first time, and felt him breathe. I saw with my own eyes, I could SEE God giving grace, and my heart beat out - Right now counts forever.
That bus ride next to my best friend, sharing hearts and hearing stories about relationships and dreams falling apart ... we both sat there with her mama beside and we cried. Because right now hurt too much, but it still counted. Because God gives us it all, and we thank Him. It hurts so much, but we share it together, and it counts. It matters. Right now, He is close right now.
I've listened to too many breaking hearts sob their grief through my phone, or into my shoulder, I've said too many goodbyes. I've spent too many sleepless nights, or awaken from them in tears or terror. I've cried my way through too many days, helpless to help my hurting family and friends .... but look - Jesus is near. Bending down, down, filling us with strength. Stooping close. Jesus is near. Shhh, be still, my soul. He is near.
Standing on that high high bridge, just to be close to something that I'd have to say goodbye to. I never ever dreamed that I would have to say goodbye. That I would see things change in a way that would bring much sadness and loss to my family and to so many other families. Bound in pride and joy and hard work and vision. And this is the last one. How can something from my childhood be so firmly attached to my heart? Why must it end? Reaching my hand out to caress the wind that blows past Atlantis on the pad, launching for the last time, bringing the orbiters and space station programs to an end. How deeply I am rooted here, without even knowing it.
God, this is too much. I don't want it to end. Let it go on forever. Let there be another program. I wanted my children to know what it was like. I wanted them to feel the rumble and stand in awe of what You have allowed man to experience in space. I wanted to grow up more here, and watch more here, and keep this precious life as it is. My heart hurts just thinking about it. I've spent nights in tears over this. Please don't let this end.
Gazing out past the water and wetlands, seeing Atlantis light up on the pad as night fell and the lights came on. I came up here just to be near. Just to be near to Atlantis eased the longing a little. :) And then .... I gazed into the sunset, and felt the why just twist itself deeper into the hurting place in my heart. Because I was realizing what really ached the most. God was taking away again. and I didn't want it that way. It doesn't make it better, does it? :) Knowing and realizing that? But what happened after that did help a little.
After that prayer of mine above, I looked out at the sunset and just let myself think about living without this big part of my life, and what it would be like to drive out to the beach and never see a shuttle on the pad again, or hear the booms reminding me of the safety in God in the middle of the night, how my childhood was so so rooted in all these memories. Tears welled in my eyes of the loss.
Then I looked at this, and the Holy Spirit whispered in that quiet way that He does -
"I am here."
I smiled, right then. Yes, You are here. You are my yesterday and my tomorrow, You are here. You are all this. You are everything that this is. YOU are HERE. YOU.
This quiet quiet whisper comfort to my heart. My Comforter whispers "I am here." because He knows that I need to hear it from Him above anything else, I need to know that He stoops down to whisper to the lowly, that He heals and touches the blinded and sick, that He hovers over the deep waters of my soul and says "Behold, I make all things new", that He loves me and will never let me go. That His plans for me are more astonishing than I could dream.
That even though all of right now, it all counts forever, what counts the most is that He is here. He is. He is forever. He is what makes it all count forever.
Right now counts forever because He is here. He is here, beloved!!!
Rest your head upon His chest and listen to His heart of love, beating for you, His little one, His redeemed. His precious child, His forever Mine. Be still in how, oh, how He loves you!
Yes. I know You are here. I know. You make the right now ... count forever and ever.
Be still, my heart .... be speechless!
Stand in awe and be amazed, and know that He will never change,
~ Jean Marie ~