The Descent into Heaven
There are days when I can imagine sprinting to the finish line; standing tall as I await full redemption; or pressing on with exuberance toward my salvation.
There are other days when my hope of rescue is in it coming to me, a crumpled heap.
These are the days when I’m encouraged by the idea that Christ’s ascent into heaven began as a descent into hell.
This paradox consoles me in my state of lessening, by affirming that true peace comes, not after a win, but after surrender.
It confirms that finding safety requires leaving the familiar.
It upholds that Hope is glorified amidst failure of everything else.
It comforts me that great need is purposed to arise great faith.
It validates that longing for the Truth comes as I confess that I am apart from it.
It testifies that to find contentment, I must sacrifice my version of it.
It portends that in order to inhabit eternity, I must actually fail.
The descent, which has been deemed weak and foolish since the first generation of human understanding, means instead, that on the days when I seem to be moving in the opposite direction of perfection, I’ve got reason to be hopeful. I’m still in the race. I may not be setting a record-pace on the course that was marked out before me, but at least I know I am on it. I am not lost, nor forgotten, nor suffering in vain.
The way to heaven is a descent—not because heaven is beneath me, but because I need to realize that I am beneath it. Resurrection’s arms reach low, and I am caught up in them as I acknowledge my need for them. If today leads me on a descending path—if only to help me see that I am in need of arms to raise me up to an eternal perspective—then so be it.