As I look at the rapid changes taking place in the world, my heart has grown heavy. Sorrow of every type and stripe is filling the land as mankind increasingly grows numb to the cries and needs of his neighbor. As I look at the increase in crime, hatred, sickness, and want, my mind has been increasingly drawn to the soon coming of the Lord.
While I look forward with great longing to that wondrous day, believing that it will be the start of something wonderful, my heart aches as I think of all those who will be taken by surprise. Who when the clouds are parted and the heaven’s lighted up with the intense glory of the King and His regal retinue, will look up in sorrow as they realize too late what they have lost.
As deep as my heart longs for the day when I can at last put aside the trials and tribulations of this sin ridden world, when I can at last forget the misery and disappointment that comes with living with chronic illness for the joy of endless days of youthful health, there is a deep sorrow that will not be silent. For I know that as wonderful as that hour will be for those who have given their hearts and lives to God, and as desperate as I am to hear the golden song of rejoicing, I dread the guttural cries that will fill the land of the lost.
Oh the horror that will be theirs as they finally face the King of Kings. As frustrated as I am by their willing ignorance and stubborn insistence that obeying His word is foolishness, my heart breaks knowing that their days of peace and prosperity are limited. For as long as they cling to their earthly riches and prefer their selfish vices over the things yet unseen, how can they have part in the land they despise?
As I considered their hopeless fate and the deep wails of regret that will gush forth when they finally realized the wonders that they have despised, it seemed like my heart wanted to fall to the floor. My deep sorrow heightened as I considered that among that hopeless throng would be many whom I loved and cared for, and yet as much as my heart would be moved, there would be nothing that I could do to comfort or help them. For in that hour their hearts would be sealed. Their cries of sorrow brought forth from the realization that they had thrown away their chance at a full and rich life for the rust and dust, and not from a heart broken in grief for their rebellion and life of ingratitude.
After awhile of thinking about the massive dichotomy in reactions to that day, my mind began to ponder how, if I was so sorrowful, what must it be like for God. After all, He not only created us, but He did everything in His power to reach and save each of those souls. I cannot begin to imagine how hard it will be for Him that fearful day when He must step back and close the door of mercy.
Part of Him has to rejoice in the knowledge that the misery and suffering that has scared His once perfect creation. If we are tired of sickness, pain, want, and all the miseries of this life, how much more must God be when His original plan was peace and f
Consider that for about 6000 years God has disrupted His kingdom as all of heaven has been bent upon saving souls. With tireless effort He has sent His angels to and from earth, seeking to win the hearts of all. He has put everything on the line in His attempt to reach mankind and spared no expense to reach our hearts.
But now all cases have been decided and it is time for Jesus to return to earth and gather His faithful servants together to bring them back to live in eternal glory with Him. As He considers that happy faces of those who will put off sickness, pain, wrinkles, and death, His heart must beat with joy. At last peace and prosperity shall reign where chaos and fear once ruled. Even now He can hear the shouts of the victorious and feel their excitement as they realize that their battle is forever over and they will no longer be captive to the heartaches that come with sin.
Yet as He prepares to step away from the throne of mercy, to shut the door of hope, a pang of sorrow must pierce His heart as He considers all those who turned away. For if my heart breaks as I consider the unenviable plight of all who turned their back on the free gift, how much stronger must be the pain of the Savior who endured want, hate, and a cruel death on the cross to reach each of these souls. Despite their refusal to except His offer of love, they still hold a precious place in His heart and He still knows each scar as well as every hair on their head.
But as much as He loves them, as deeply as He longs to spend eternity with them, He knows that it cannot be. Not because He would not give His all to welcome them in, but because their love of sin is so strong, and with many their hatred of Him is so intense, that they would be miserable. The land of peace, where gluttony, drunkenness, infidelity, thievery, murder, idolatry, and selfishness are not allowed, would not be a haven of peace, but instead a prison of torture. From the heartless dictator who was willing to starve his people for absolute power to the humble serf who clung to dishonesty and slight of hand as a way to gain a leg up, the unselfish ways of heaven would ever be a cutting rebuke. For like a strong willed child who cannot cause their fellow classmate to go astray, anger will rear its head, and they will long to mock and despise their goody to shoe companions.
I cannot imagine the pain that will cut through the heart of God in that final moment before the door of probation finally closes. On the one hand there is joy in knowing that the suffering of this wayward planet has finally arrived, yet like a loving father, He yearns for His wayward children. But because He seeks love not blind servitude, otherwise He would have made robots and not human beings capable of free will. And because He respects their right to chose, He cannot alter their choice, even if it means that they have chosen to cling to their favorite sins even though doing so will lead to eternal death. Thus, what should be an hour of unbroken delight, is also an hour filled with intense pain.
It is from these thoughts that the following poem was inspired.
And So the World Travels
By Katherine B. Parilli
A mighty shout of victory fills the air.
Songs of loudest most joyful praise rebound through Heaven’s vaults.
The angels gather together to repeat the wondrous news.
At last, after seemingly endless centuries,
Through wars and famine,
Through trial and severe hardships,
Enduring insults and scorn,
The joyous day has finally come.
For every sheep has at last been counted.
The last bundle of wheat has been harvested.
The mission of salvation is coming to its close.
Soon the poisonous sting of sin will be no more!
All Heaven rejoices in the close of sin’s longest most painful chapter.
At last they can gather to rescue the redeemed.
Soon the streets of Heaven will buzz with their awed mumblings.
In just a few short hours these tired mortals,
Exhausted from earth’s long struggle,
Silenced by Heaven’s overwhelming grandeur,
Will fill these glorious gates with the new wonder of shocked, giggling, playful infant child as it peers upon a blinding thrilling new world for the first time.
Caught upon their wonder they almost do not hear the deepest sigh the universe has ever endured.
The Commander in Chief,
Cloaked in his High priestly robes,
Has paused for one last long lingering moment before the alter of mercy,
Hanging reluctantly for one last moment between His dear little flock and the coming fearful storm,
Between a blind ungrateful world He longs so desperately to gather to Him and enfold them in His all encompassing protecting arms like a mother would her new born child,
But it is not to be,
It cannot be.
Sadly He must step away,
He must let come what will come.
He must let justice have its reign.
He must let His precious trembling flock stand forth to be purified by fire in that fearful all cleansing final hour.
To come forth bright and shining as precious golden jewels,
Precious pearls to adorn His kingdom,
Having stood forth firm and unyielding for His kingdom when the rest of the world had turned and walked away.
In unspeakable sorrow He proclaims,
And how the earth travails with each groaning word,
Knowing that her sentence is full,
Now has come her saddest hour.
So long I have pleaded for her doomed inhabitants.
For ages my servants have wept and prayed on her behalf.
The honor of my people has spared her countless sorrows,
Of many evil perils that could have stricken her they will never know,
Of how much gratitude and days of peace they owe my servants they have gone to their graves blindly unaware.
Bound by lust and greed to sin they heard not my pleading call.
Entwined by earthly glitter they laughed at my humble servants.
Despising their poverty they looked only to their tatter outer rags and declared them worthy of death.
Time after time they headed not the warning call,
Choosing to ignore the tolling of the bells.
Of this hour they scoffed.
Comforting themselves that my mercy was to deep,
And justice would fail.
Of this last final hour the prophets proclaimed in boldest letters lest none should know.
My love was too deep in their sight,
Like the love a pampering mother that spoils her child until it is unfit to enter the world.
But now that awful hour has come.
The final battle is ready to begin.
As I leave this hallowed place the shadow will quickly fall.
The pallor of death will fill earth’s pride filled streets.
The richest thieves will loathe their ill gotten gains.
The haughty will know the hour of sorrow has come.
And oh the poor shepherds who have turned from their duty and used fables to feed their flocks!
Oh dear man how I begged for thee!
How willingly and freely I spilled my blood!
And now the hour of sorrow must come.
That darkest hour before the dawn,
The hour of devils’ greatest glee!
Come my sheep and I will shelter thee.
For you have heard my call.
But woe to the wolves that have sought thy innocent blood.
Woe to the vulture that have gathered by thy sick bed!
The hour of sorrow has come.
The lonely hour that the ear swore would never come.
I can hear the clamoring of earth’s armies.
I can see the beginning of the final sorrow so great and complete
Once you laughed in your greatness.
Today your laughter shall become an ocean of tears.
For justice demands you drink of the cup that you feed my people.
Justice demands that you understand the hardness of your stony hearts.
At last has come the final hour.
The hour for which the prophets shuttered and groaned.
The earth shall quiver,
The rain shall fail,
And that shall only be the beginning of woes.
You ignored the cries of mercy.
You were warned that this day was soon to come.
But blinded by fools cold you clung to your sins.
Exalting in your mighty impenetrable man made towers.
Claiming with jubilee that God in His mightiest power could not bring them to ashes,
Could not alter their grand masters’ visionary far reaching course.
And now I must step away from the alter.
Take off my intercessory robes,
And put on my Kingly vestments.
My priestly garments I must exchange out for those of a ruler,
And a rightful heir.
And once I leave this spot the earth shall mourn.
For the hour of sorrow has begun.
The hour they were sure would never come will reign down upon them with lightening surprise.
Too late to change their fate their hearts desire will forever be locked in.
They must now taste the bitter cup that they have chosen.
Oh how my heart does break for those I love!
Yet they loved not my voice,
Sought not my pleasant protecting healing valleys.
Too late they will see the error of their ways.
Too late because they still firmly cling to their cherished sins.
Seeking only ways to enjoy them for a little while longer.
Looking only for a way to escape my wrath,
And to seek my forgiving smile.
Oh that I could have wiped away this final hour!
But now it’s time has come.
Mercies work is complete.
And even now the plagues must begin to fall.
And earth shall tearfully warble and stutteringly tremble for the hour that they thought would never come,
But at last has crept upon them like a thief in the night.
And sadly there shall be no one to protect them from their fears!