Time in Paradise

Time changed today.

I didn’t remember today was the day for it. But while bundling for the morning dog walk…winding a warm woolen head scarf, my eyes fell on the clock in the cable box, maintained by Greenwich, I assume… 430 . I had been up for an hour!

I love to change the time on clocks, which is good since I am surrounded by many. I remember as a Labor and Delivery nurse, the shift for time change used to be a favorite night to work and when others complained about working the extra hour, happily I volunteered. Promptly at 2, scampering from room to room, every clock and fetal monitor was meticulously set to display current time. Clocks must match after all and especially in preparation for the announcement of birth….

While studying the scriptures about Heaven, I have been imagining what happens when we die… what will Paradise be like… One story has captured my attention this week and I wanted to share it with you. Rev 6: 9-11 states,

“When he [Jesus] opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar, the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been”.

In light of this passage, Randy Alcorn author of the book, Heaven, makes several deductive statements.

What will Paradise be like?
• Vs 9: There will be continuity between identity on earth and our identity in Heaven. We will remember some of what happened on earth.
• Vs 10: We will be able to express ourselves.
• God is available to us so that we can ask questions and therefore we won’t know everything.
• People in heaven, especially martyrs desire understanding.
• People know what’s happening on earth.
• People see and experience God’s attributes.
• Vs 11: Martyrs’ wear white robes… so have some form of body.
• And people asked time-based questions…there is time in Paradise.

Time is a constant. Time is not ‘the’ constant because God is, but concerning man, time provides order, meaning and remembrance. When God created, He made time as the foundation on which the physical universe rests . Sun, stars, moon and tides testify to this. It is interesting to imagine that in Heaven, time will continue to preoccupy the thoughts of man e.g. Luke 15:7. However, I wonder why time doesn’t preoccupy our thoughts more while on earth. Oh, we do think about time in reference to deadlines, schedules, holidays, etc, but true behavior exposes eternity, at best, as an afterthought.
The martyrs in the story above understood the importance of time and devoted themselves to investing time … their lives, to be an example to others. There are many Followers who currently face the same decision.

According to a recent news story by Fox News, “Government officials in Iran are [pressuring] jailed Pastor, Youcef Nadarkhani to convert to Islam”. This strategy has been used in Iran before and many believe it is “another way to trap him to allow the regime to continue to punish him or have documented evidence of blasphemy against Islam”.

I am wondering, will Pastor Youcef be one of the ones in this story …’under the alter’…ultimately giving us the gift of time, his time? Only God knows. I do know that I am praying for Youcef and others, and if asked to do the same that I will be faithful…not looking back…scampering eagerly to set the clock…

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