Ecclesiastes 8:5–6 (NIV): “Whoever obeys his commands will come to no harm, and the wise heart will know the proper time and procedure. For there is a proper time and procedure for every matter, though a person may be weighed down by misery.”  

This admonition of Solomon is extremely weighty; it exhorts us to wisely wait on the Lord before acting, regardless of the pressures of life.  This is important in times of war and in times of peace, in seasons of prosperity and in times of lack.  

Our default strategy is just to choose the closest target and fire when under siege.  However, there is the age old adage that exhorts: “Hold your fire until you see the whites of their lies.”  Until we understand not only the problem but also the solution, we are not ready to act.

We have been gifted with time for a reason: “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” and neither are our celestial mansions.  It takes a lifetime to prepare us for our celestial cities.

We must learn to overcome the follies of life and also to apprehend the excellencies of heaven.  It is not an either/or challenge; it is a both/and proposition.  

So we must learn to be patient.  One man may earn his competency badge rather quickly, but a whole troop needs time to learn to excel and cooperate with one another.

And maybe the learning of patience and contentment here on earth is just the right lesson that we need in order to be prepared for contentment for all eternity in heaven – forever to be in the presence of The Holy One and his family.

Time is a gift just as eternal life is a gift.  We must receive both graciously and spend each wisely.

They are interconnected; the wise use of one complements the other.  If we utilize our hours well, we will also spend eternity well.  If we “take hold of the eternal life that we have been given,” we will be prepared to know how to spend our days here on earth.  This is important because in heaven we will be immortal and powerful, free from the constraints of space, matter, and time.  

We must prepare now for such an exalted inheritance, for there are things that we can do now that will greatly enhance our next life.  Every lesson learned well here will be a jewel in our celestial crowns.  Every victory won here will be a wreath on our celestial mansions’ doors.  

Every friend made here will be ours forever!

—Brad Heilhecker

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