I have travelled by foot, by road, by rail, by sea, and by air. Feet, bicycles and buses and cars, trains, and vessels and aircraft of all sizes, the journey never ends. This is because my journey consists of many journeys, all of which are but component parts of the greater journey of life.
Some people say life begins at conception, but God told Jeremiah He knew him before this:
“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb…” (Jeremiah 1:5a NLT)
That verse means a lot to me. It reminds me of the intimate involvement of God in my life. I may not be Jeremiah the Prophet (which at least means I won’t end up in the bottom of a muddy pit), but God has a purpose for me. It is good to know that God’s purpose for any of us is more than just crossing the road, or travelling to or from wherever. There is an end destination.
I used to think about the end destination frequently when I was serving at sea. Apart from the regular reminders of God’s awesome creative power revealed through majestic night skies in the middle of the ocean, there were the storms. I have written about storms before. While storms can be exhilarating, they are physically tiring (try standing for several hours on a deck that is moving violently in many directions), and can also be very frightening. Sometimes the fear comes after the storm when the damage is evident. Sometimes the fear is present in the storm because the wind and waves are so powerful there is a real possibility that the ship will not make it through. The disciples of Jesus understood this, as did the apostle Paul. Like them I have been in storms where I have wondered if I might be very close to reaching my final harbour.
If Jesus Christ does not return first, then a day will come when each one of us will reach our final harbour. But it isn’t the end of the line. There is more. There is a day when we will have to meet God, whether we believe in Him or not, and whether Jesus returns in our lifetime, or after we die. That makes how we live, how we act, and what we say during our journey vitally important.
So why do you condemn another believer? Why do you look down on another believer? Remember, we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. For the Scriptures say,
“‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bend to me, and every tongue will confess and give praise to God.’”
Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God. So let’s stop condemning each other. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall. (Romans 14:10-12 NLT)