Here, Hereafter, And Afterwards
by Pastor Jack Hyles
(Chapter 12 from Dr. Hyle's excellent book, Strength And Beauty)
When our Lord was in the upper room, He was asked a question. He told the disciples "hereafter" they would know. Later on He was asked another question. Here they were told that "afterwards" they would know. "All things work together for good to them that love God and to them who are the called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28) We have to trust the Lord in this respect, but we do not always know here and now, why and how. To be sure, there are many things that we can see here. We can know "here" why God did a certain thing. On the other hand, some things we will not know until "hereafter." Later on in life we will see why God did what He did. I used to wonder why my dad was a drunkard. I used to wonder why I was hungry and couldn't wear nice clothes. I used to wonder why we couldn't live in a nice house. Now I know. I did not know "here," but now I know "hereafter." We have to trust the Lord, for He knows what is best.
In spite of the fact that some things I know "here," and some things I have found out "hereafter," there are still things that have happened in my life that I will not know the why or how until I meet the Lord in Heaven. These things I must find out "afterwards." I must trust Him now that all things do work together for good.
I can recall when I was a little boy my mother used to embroider quite a bit. I would be playing on the floor and she would be embroidering. I would look up and say, "Mother, what are you doing?"
She would say, "Embroidering, son."
"Mother, what is embroidering?"
She would try to explain.
Then I would say, "Mother, it looks like a mess to me. Just a bunch of jumbled thread on a cloth in a hoop."
Then my mother would smile and sweetly say, "Son, you just go about your playing and trust Mother. After awhile I will be finished and I will bring you up where I am and show you what I was doing all the time."
I would go about my playing and sure enough after awhile my mother would say, "Son, do you want to come up and see?"
She would then put me on her knee where she was and let me see it from her side. To my surprise there was a beautiful flower or some other scene. Then Mother would look at me and say, "Son, there was something you couldn't see from the underside. There was a design from my side not visible to you. I was simply following that design."
I look up at the Lord today and say, "Dear Lord, what are You doing!"
He says, "I am embroidering a life, my child."
I reply, "It looks like a mess to me."
He says, "You go about doing My will and after awhile I will bring you up here in Heaven and let you see it from My side."
One day I will be carried to Heaven and I will see it from His side. He will show me that it was all according to a Divine plan that He could see our I could not see. I should simply trust by faith that He knows what is best and that all things do work together for good to those who love God and to those who are the called according to His purpose.
I thank God for the things God does that I can see "here."
I also thank Him that there were things that once I could not see but that "hereafter" I could see.
Then I must thank God in faith for those things which happened to me for which I can see no answer "here" or "hereafter," but will understand when He calls me where He is and shows me why He did what He did "afterwards."
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