“Rabbit trails”… I looked it up the other day to make sure I was using this idiom correctly ~ to make sure my understanding of the phrase tallied with the common usage. It turns out that a “common usage” doesn’t quite exist. There are quite a few versions floating around “out there” online. The various meanings aren’t light-years apart, but since there are some options and varieties popular these days, I’ll lay out what I mean when I speak of “rabbit trails”. For me, rabbit trails when reading the Word are intriguing additional idea-paths that come in view while walking down a particular thought-path in the Word or while reading a passage of Scripture. Today, I invite you to tag along through one of my adventures with rabbit trails in the Word of God…
but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. ~ 2 Peter 3:18
As I was setting an article to publish here on CWO, I came across this verse while checking Scripture references. The author used a more recent version in her article, but I had checked the reference using my “comfy, old” NASB and was “hooked” by some of the wording in this version. I love it when the Word of God reaches out and grabs my attention like a rosebush thorn grabs my sleeve!
The phrase that “hooked” me was “the day of eternity”. The first “rabbit trail” in this little adventure was the line from the old song ~ “When we all get to heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be!” ~ and I thought, “Yes, what a day indeed!” Then my eye was caught on the “the” in that phrase ~ “the day of eternity” ~ and I agreed, that will be “the” ultimate day! My heart was warmed by that thought, too, because I like “ultimates” and “the day of eternity” will be the ultimate of ultimates in the days of our lives!
Then I felt the Lord, with soft, delicate, gentleness, nudge me to think on a little bit more, and as I mentally moved off of the “the” to the “day” it was like a mini-sunrise in the midst of my evening! A small plethora of thoughts and small understandings burst like rising sun-rays into my mind. I love it when the Word makes that happen, too!
The day of eternity is the beginning for us ~ eternity by definition would have no beginning and no end properly, but we are finite creatures who will be moving into the infinite either through death or the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. And Peter says, “both now and to the day of eternity”, marking a definite and specific change point with that little word “to”.
Beyond that, thinking on that word “day” ~ it really is the day of eternity because whenever and however that begins for us, it does not end. I know, “D’uh, Jacquie, that’s kind of what eternity means, hello!” and I agree, but where this “rabbit trail” of the Lord led to was the day, as in daylight, as in no night ~ no darkness, at all! A never-ending day in which the Lord ~ our Light and our salvation and our song here in this life ~ will really BE our actual Light in that day ~ our Sun of Righteousness! And without end or interruption! Just the glorious Son shining on and on in the rich warmth of His endless love. Regardless of how much or how well we know and experience the love of the Lord here and now, we have just a pin-head-sized amount of understanding in the here and now! For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
~ 1 Corinthians 13:12
Did you catch that? Does it thrill your heart and give your soul those delighfully, shivery chills? “Fully known” ~ you are fully, thoroughly, and completely known by the Lord, inside and out, yesterday, today and tomorrow! Not only are you actually known, you are totally and completely LOVED!!! That’s what the whole chapter of 1 Corinthians 13 is about, Love, and that’s what you are ~ LOVED!!! And not just in any fluffy or inconsequential way, this is how you are loved:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. ~ I Corinthians 13:4-8a
And this is how you are loved:
As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life.
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. ~ John 3: 14-18
As we are right here, right now, we are loved! Perfectly and without pause, hesitation, or interruption! This is reality even with, and in the middle of all of the things that drive you crazy about yourself and/or causes you to hang your head and wish you could hide! The good news is that our sins, and we all have them, are covered in the blood of the Lamb and they’re washed away by the blood of the Lamb as well!
But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus… ~ Romans 3:21-23
“Blessed are those whose lawless deeds have been forgiven,
And whose sins have been covered.
“Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not take into account.”
~ Romans 4:7-8
“Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean;
Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes.
Cease to do evil,
Learn to do good;
Rebuke the oppressor;
Defend the fatherless,
Plead for the widow.
Come now, and let us reason together,”
Says the Lord,
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
They shall be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They shall be as wool.
~ Isaiah 1:16-18
Regardless of how much of a mess and a loss we may feel we are, we are loved, and we are cleansed. That means we’re free, delivered, and there’s no shame or condemnation for us now ~ right now and all day, every day from the moment you believed Jesus to be your Savior right through to the day of eternity! It can be hard to accept all this and to walk each day in it ~ and there’s nothing in our culture that will help us to do so, either! So be sure to give yourself the same grace our Lord Jesus does in His love while you’re learning to accept His grace and love. There’s not one of us who doesn’t have more to learn and come to understand about the love of God for us and our entirely grace-filled and mercy-covered lives!
…that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. ~ Ephesias 3:16-19
Here is the truth of life we walk in everyday:
Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
~ Romans 8:1
It’s a short verse ~ memorize it and let it be your walking stick as you go through your day!