This is my continuing conversation with God about end of life planning. (See last couple of posts on the subject.) It turned out it is not the end of life planning at all. It is beginning of Life anticipation!
We left off last time with God reminding me of Paul’s words.
Your body came from the earth. And when you die, it will return to the earth. But your spirit came from God, and when you die, it will return to Him!
So I asked God, “What will I look like as a spirit?”
He laughed. “You are not the only one to ask that question. My friend, Paul, even wrote about it.”
But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?”
How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies.
When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else.
1 Corinthians 15: 35-37
God continued. “That earthly body you want to hang on to is just a seed. It’s tiny compared to what you are going to be.”
“If you had seeds and you just kept them in your pocket instead of planting them, would you ever get anything?”
I conceded I wouldn’t.
“You are right. You have to turn loose of it and put it in the ground out of your sight. You can’t touch it. You can’t dig it up and see if it’s changing. You have to wait awhile before you see what it is going to look like. Right?”
He said, “Can you make it grow? Do you have that power?”
I shook my head no.
“Then who will make it grow?”
I smiled. I knew the answer to that one!
“You do! You make it grow!”
“That’s right. Paul understood.”
But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body.
1 Corinthians 15:38
“Its own body?” I asked.
“When there were many things in your garden, did all the seeds look alike when you planted them? No!” So what came up looked different too.”
Not all flesh is the same: People have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another.
1 Corinthians 15:39
He put His Arm around me. “Now I am going to tell you something really really important. Listen carefully.”
“You’ve been thinking a lot about that seed of a body. Now I want you to think about what is going to come up as your new body.”
I still wanted to know what I was going to look like. “Will it look anything at all like my old body? I mean, am I going to get a face lift or something or will I be completely different?”
“Oh my child, you are the curious one, aren’t you? Yes, I saw you shaking those Christmas presents trying to figure out what was in them. But you had to wait ‘til Christmas to open them, didn’t you?”
I remembered. “Yeah, that was hard.”
“Well, life works that way too. You have to wait for some things. But believe me, this is worth waiting for.”
“Paul did a good job of explaining it.”
There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor
of the earthly bodies is another.
The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor.
1 Corinthians 15: 40-41
“You agreed I did a good job of creating your earthly body. Wait ‘til you see what your new body looks like!”
“I’m not going to give you every detail yet, but know this.”
So will it be with the resurrection of the dead.
The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable;
it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory;
it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power;
it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.
1 Corinthians 15: 42-44
“Let that sink in. Imperishable! Filled with Glory! Powerful! Stripped of everything that ever held you down on this earth and raised up higher than you can imagine!”
“Raised in a spiritual body!”
“Let’s take a break while you think about that. And then I’ll tell you more.”
I jumped up. “You mean there’s more?”
He smiled. “Oh yes, there’s always more.”
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen