Beloved, we are God’s children now, but what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is (1Jn. 3:2).
Have you ever looked to the past and reminisced on old flames or past crushes–persons whom, at that time, you thought the world of and would have done anything in your power to be with? Upon the memories of some of those persons you may still look with fondness, while on others you can hardly believe that your heart was ever inclined in their direction. On the latter group, a change in personal preference or knowing the person better may have extinguished the desires you once had for that person, or perhaps the desire you once had for them may have be trumped by a force outside the two of you–another person who you, upon your seeing and knowing them, found to be more beautiful, more handsome, and all-around more agreeable with the desires of your heart. When you found this person and your heart and mind were captured by them, your fondness for the former object of your affection was brought to nothing.
It is a callous analogy, but it is one to which most of us can relate. We all have had desires, even very strong desires, that we have witnessed become nothing in the light of circumstances, time, and greater desires. For the Christian, this is a comforting reality, for we know that some, if not many, of the desires of our heart stand against the desires of our God. While we stand and watch the world indulge itself with all that this life offers those who will “free” themselves to enjoy them, we find ourselves torn between what we can grasp now and the Promise we have been given and assured of by the Spirit of Christ.
Yet we can take comfort knowing that it will not always be this way, for, “When [Jesus] appears, we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.” For when we see Christ and behold him at the end of this age, we will be changed forever. Just as our old flames were put out by seeing and knowing another more beautiful, so too will all of our worldly desires be extinguished upon a single glimpse of our Savior in glory. In his presence, our strongest desires and greatest strongholds will crumble away as though they were nothing, for at last we will know him for whom our hearts were created.