Maggie, our *perfect* Goldendoodle, was born in October 2017 and we brought her home in December. It was soooooo cold her first week with us and it snowed a lot. If you know me at all, you know I am NOT a cold-weather kinda gal. (Every single year I tell myself that I'm going to have a better attitude about winter and look for God's beauty in it. I willingly admit to you, not counting the two times I said while it was snowing, "Oh that's pretty", I have failed at it yet again. My attitude is terrible. Sorry. But I digress.)
I don't know what I was thinking when I decided to get a new puppy in the dead of winter. Puppies need to go outside - A LOT - and every single time I froze to death. It takes me longer to put on my sweater, scarf, coat, gloves, snow boots, and multiple hats, and any other random piece of warm clothing I can manage to get on under my coat than it does for her to do her business outside. I have tried to explain something to her as I'm putting all my layers on - "Maggie - I promise you - it won't always be this way! Someday soon it won't take me 10 minutes to get ready to take you outside. All I will have to do is slip on my Wonder Woman flip flops and we can go outside! Someday soon you will see green leaves and green grass and beautiful colorful flowers! Birds will chirp, the sky will be blue, and it will be WARM! I know you don't believe me. It's hard for you to even imagine it because you've never experienced it...but just because you haven't experienced it doesn't mean it's not real! You'll see! It WILL happen, I promise!!
As I was saying this to Maggie for the 100th time, I felt God nudge me and say pretty much the same thing I'd been saying to my puppy. "It won't always be like this. I know that now all you see sometimes is the pain, suffering, heartache and frustrations of this life. You yearn for something more but it's hard for you to imagine it because you've never experienced it. But just because you haven't experienced it doesn't mean it's any less real."
There WILL be a day when eternity is not something we only talk about - it will be our reality. It's so hard to imagine it, because just like my dog who has never experienced anything but the cold, will someday experience a beauty and warmth she doesn't even know exists yet.
I try to remind myself of this truth as often as I can. It won't always be like this. For those of us who know Jesus as our Lord and Savior, our eternal summer is coming. Our eyes have not yet seen and our ears have not yet heard all that God has prepared for those who love Him. So we wait. But we wait with hope. And that makes all the difference.