… The faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel. Col 1:5 NIV Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. I Cor 2:9 NKJV Last month on the same day, I found out that my cousin was killed in an accident, and our sweet family dog lost his brutal battle with cancer. I was reminded again just how cruel, cold, and unyielding death is. In a word, death is just…wrong. In my grief, God took me to Colossians chapter 1. At times lately I have felt it was difficult to have faith, and even more difficult to love, knowing that to truly love someone means to open yourself up to the crushing pain of loss and rejection. For the first time I saw the link between faith, love, and the hope we have in heaven. Without heaven, this life becomes one long hopeless gauntlet of suffering, and then you die. If our hope is in heaven, each day takes on new meaning and purpose with the knowledge that it brings us one day closer to our eternal home in the arms of the Savior. In our culture today, it seems that most people are fixated on finding momentary pleasure in the things of this life; they chase after possessions, substances, and emotional highs, none of which can truly satisfy. The same is true of outdoor pursuits. So many of my climber friends seem to be chasing an elusive meaning and purpose by pitting themselves against stone and summit. They’re seeking something supernatural, eternal even, but never seem to quite find it. In the words of C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity: “If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. If none of my earthly pleasures satisfy it, that does not prove the universe is a fraud. Probably earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it but only to arouse it, to suggest the real thing.” When I stare at a breathtaking view from a lofty perch, or take in a glorious sunset, it sets my heart to longing for the day I will spend eternity with the One who created it. The experience is deeply sweetened by the knowledge that the best is yet come, and the truth that I can’t even begin to imagine what the Lord has prepared for me. May your heart rest in the deep abiding assurance that you were created for eternity by a Father who loves you more than you can possibly comprehend. May your faith be grounded in the reality that if you are in Christ, nothing can truly harm you. May each trial be lightened by the understanding that it shall pass, and each joy be amplified by the realization that it is but a shadow of what is to come.