Psalm 16:11  You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy, at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore.

Sometimes I think about my dreams, the things I still long for but realistically probably won’t see or experience now that I am 53.  I love foreign languages.  One of my most favorite things to do is to speak and learn more about a language.  French is the language I know best, so I love it the most.  Then comes German, for I lived in Germany several times as a child and young adult.  I studied Russian in college and have recreationally played with Spanish.  Any of them are fun and I would probably feel the same way were I to learn Turkish or Chinese.  The pleasure that comes from communicating with others and discovering interesting aspects of the language runs deep with me.

My teenage dream was to marry a Swiss man, not because there is anything inherently special about the character of the Swiss.  What the Swiss have going for them are 4 national languages.  If I lived in Switzerland, my children would have been at least tri-lingual, or so my pipe dream went.

But thanks be to God who superintends and directs my life.  I am grateful that before the foundation of the world He selected Michael to be my husband.  And Mike does speak some German and is very willing and eager to grow his French vocabulary.  He is a dear man who encourages me.

Yet, here I live in Newport News, Virginia.  It’s not France.  But I do work in my area of passion.  God has been kind and provided a vocation of teaching French.  I have travelled some and both our sons learned French. Yet….my dream still is to live again in a French-speaking (or other language) area, where I could speak daily in a different language.

So I was pondering longings, gifting and God’s reason for blessing us with them.  I’m sure each one of you could quickly talk about something you had thought you might be doing by now, an unfulfilled dream.  Maybe it is for a certain family status, or career position or opportunity to use a talent.  Maybe you expected your health to last longer.

Here is what I have concluded.  This life, as the Bible teaches us, is brief and fleeting, as James reminds us in 4:14 – Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.

But, for believers, for those redeemed and rescued by Christ, we have eternity with God to look forward to.  And maybe, just maybe, the interests/talents/desires/longings planted in us might be meant for fruition in the later life, the one that will last forever.

Maybe my facility and enjoyment of foreign languages will be satisfied when I share in praising God with brothers and sisters from other tribes and nations?  Maybe my husband’s joy in singing and using his voice will find its full expression in heaven. Maybe his pleasure in thinking and writing clearly will be heightened beyond his expectations as he records God’s thoughts or communicates something required by God.

Randy Alcorn has written a book about Heaven, entitled just that.  He paints a picture of saints being very busy in the next life.  His scenarios are biblically based even if they are a bit stretched or amplified.  But who is not to say that the good work that God began in us here on earth is not part of a much larger blueprint?  Is it unimaginable that our particular personality, skills and interests would be part of a master plan that goes WAY beyond what we have thought?

So let us choose NOT to be discouraged, NOT to sigh with longings unfulfilled and NOT to settle for the ‘realistic’ view.  Remember that God is able “….to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” (Eph 3:20-21)

Merry Christmas!