For someone who loves words so much, sometimes I run out of words. Sometimes I just can’t articulate the yearning and longing in my heart. Jaded from the daily struggle with sin, wearied from seeing my own sinfulness, battered down by life’s labour, I wonder how to renew faith and live with hope. The ‘now and the not yet’ of life is hard to deal with at times. There’s ‘so much more to be revealed’, so much more that waits for the children of God, and yet all we see around us are suffering and pain.

It’s at times like that that I lean on others to provide the words I find so hard to articulate, when there is a sense of wonder in discovering that others really do capture your heart and can capture the truth of God’s Word in ways that break through the pain and sorrow of this world, providing hope and vision.

Children’s stories often end with the words ‘and they all lived happily ever after.’ As an adult, I often question that phrase. But the truth remains that God has promised not only a happy ending, but a victorious ending that fuels us in our daily struggles with sin. We need not only to look back in remembrance but to look forward with hope.

C.S. Lewis captures this sense of anticipation in his book ‘The Last Battle’:
‘It is as hard to explain how this sunlit land was different from the old Narnia as it would be to tell you how the fruits of that country taste. Perhaps you will get some idea of it if you think like this. You may have been in a room in which there was a window that looked out on a lovely bay of the sea or a green valley that wound away among mountains. And in the wall of that room opposite to the window there may have been a looking-glass. And as you turned away from the window you suddenly caught sight of that sea or that valley, all over again, in the looking glass. And the sea in the mirror, or the valley in the mirror, were in one sense just the same as the real ones: yet at the same time there were somehow different — deeper, more wonderful, more like places in a story: in a story you have never heard but very much want to know.

The difference between the old Narnia and the new Narnia was like that. The new one was a deeper country: every rock and flower and blade of grass looked as if it meant more. I can’t describe it any better than that: if ever you get there you will know what I mean.

It was the Unicorn who summed up what everyone was feeling. He stamped his right fore-hoof on the ground and neighed, and then he cried:

“I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now. The reason why we loved the old Narnia is that is sometimes looked a little like this. Bree-hee-hee! Come further up, come further in!” ‘

And Matt Redman expresses it beautifully in his song ‘Endless Hallelujah’, where he talks about ‘sowing the hope of eternity into people’s hearts’. That’s what we need on a daily basis, that sense of eternity even as we live in time…

When I stand before Your throne
Dressed in glory not my own
What a joy I’ll sing of on that day
No more tears or broken dreams
Forgotten is the minor key
Everything as it was meant to be

And we will worship
Forever in Your presence we will sing
We will worship
Worship You
An endless hallelujah to the King

I will see You as You are
Love You with unsinning heart
And see how much You paid to bring me home
Not ‘til then, Lord, shall I know
Not ‘til then how much I owe
Everything I am before Your throne

No more tears
No more shame
No more sin and sorrow
Ever known again
No more fears
No more pain
We will see You face to face
See You face to face
(‘Endless Hallelujah’, Matt Redman, Tim Wanstall, Chris Tomlin, Jonas Myrin)