One spring when I was a teenager, my Dad injured his back. He landed in the hospital in traction. That left seeding the crop to me. Could I get it done? I doubted and dreaded.
When I got to the farmyard, before I knew what I was doing, I had climbed the windmill tower and surveyed the fields, then looked down at the grain drill. It was 16 feet. How was I supposed to cover those fields with 16 feet? Wouldn’t that take an eternity? Would I make it to the end?
After filling the drill with seed and fertilizer, I started for the first round. One glimmer of hope appeared. It’s been done before. I tried to keep that thought in front of me.
That night I visited Dad in the hospital to give the daily report. I was surprised how unconcerned Dad seemed to be. He even commended me on the acres I’d seeded. As I was stepping from his room to head home, he called my name. When I turned around, he said. “A lot of acres there.” “Yahh,” I exhaled. “Well,” he said, “just make sure you enjoy being in the field, round by round, because before long, seedtime will be over, and you’ll miss it.”
That gave me a lot to chew on. He was giving me assurance. As he had gone before me and seeded the farm in the past, I could follow. I too could seed the farm. He wanted me to have an assurance so strong that I could work in hope and joy, not in doubt or dread.
The Lord’s Word is like that, giving us assurance not only about seeding this year’s crop, but about our whole life, and our resurrections after our bodies die.
What will happen when we die? How can we be resurrected to eternal life? Our eyes cannot see any more than my eyes could from the top of the windmill tower. Our eyes see hundreds and hundreds of acres. Our eyes see a 16 foot drill. But God’s Word shows us what our eyes cannot see.
Just like seeding the farm, resurrection has been done before. Jesus has gone ahead of us into the resurrection. We can follow.
Paul writes, “God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power.” (1 Corinthians 5:14) He writes, “If we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.” (Romans 6:5) “He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence.” (2 Corinthians 4:14) “If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.” (Romans 8:11)
Jesus himself said, “Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.” (John 14:19)
As I was to enjoy being in the field, round by round, we also are to live our lives toward our resurrections with joy. Peter writes, “Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” (1 Peter 1:8-9)