by Paula Harrington
I traveled south to the Covington, Tennessee church of Christ recently to attend a beautiful wedding.
I had been to Covington before but never to the church building and had planned on printing out directions. However, my wireless printer is a force to be reckoned with and seldom wants to work when needed. Plan B involved using my outdated iPhone and the MapQuest App.
An hour into the drive, I realized that I had lost my internet connection. I hadn’t checked the GPS in the last several miles but I knew that changing roads was in my immediate future. Panic ensued.
Which road should I take? My mind was full of Interstate and Highway numbers. None of which stood out among the rest. My heart began to race. I didn’t have time to spare and definitely didn’t want to be late.
Twenty minutes after asking a gas station attendant and getting on the correct road, my mind began to drift to my connection to God.
I can’t express how thankful I am that our connection isn’t powered by technology. It isn’t based on how well I live my life or how terribly I mess it up, either. He promised to stay with me forever and I believe him.
- He didn’t leave the children of Israel when they complained against him.
- He didn’t leave David when the King committed adultery and murder.
- He didn’t leave Job in the midst of grief.
- He didn’t leave Jonah in a hopeless place.
- He didn’t leave the early Christians even when they faced martyrdom for their beliefs.
Our God is the standard by which we measure goodness. He is the friend who isn’t afraid to tell us when we’re wrong, the guide who will see us through the wilderness, and the Father who will never leave. His love never fails. His mercy never ends and his truth never misleads.
Our connection is stable and trustworthy. Almost everywhere.
On that long drive through Tennessee, I also recalled all the hoopla I’ve read regarding Hell in the past year or so. Just recently, I was asked again what my views on it are. Will it be an eternal suffering place? Will it only last for so long? Is there really a lake of fire and gnashing of teeth? Just how literal was Jesus when he spoke of it?
I’ve skimmed the popular books on the subject and I’ve come to one major conclusion. I don’t care. It bothers me not if it’s eternal or not. All I know is that God won’t be there so I don’t want to go.
There is no connection to our Creator in Hell. No peace, love, mercy, forgiveness, or grace. No comfort, joy, or hope. Regardless of how long we’re there, God isn’t. I can’t imagine anything being more terrible.
Fear should not be the key motivator for going to Heaven. It should never be the first thing we think of when we’re deciding to give our lives to Christ nor should it be the main concern we present to non-believers or anyone thinking of becoming a Christian. Our drive should always be love of Christ not fear of Hell.
Regardless of how dark this life can be, God is there. We are not alone. Isn’t it comforting to know that being on God’s side automatically puts you in the majority, even if it’s only you and God?
Tune into God and enjoy your connection. There’s nothing better!