One of the great promises of heaven, a promise that I long to see fulfilled, is that what becomes old and tired in this world will always remain new and fresh and exciting in the world to come. The declining joys of this world will be ever-increasing joys in the world to come. Niagara Falls will send chills down my spine every time I see it; the Grand Canyon will cause me to gasp in delight, not just once but for all of eternity; the night sky will move me to praise God for his greatness each and every time I look up. Nothing will get tiring, nothing will get old, nothing will be just the same time after time after time.
What is it that causes me to grow weary of things that are good and even things that are so very good? How could I build up such hardness, such spiritual resistance to God’s greatest gifts?
God called Adam to name each of the animals, and paraded them in front of him one by one. He saw two of this animal, two of that, two of another, and through it all realized that there was no helper fit for him. He could not possibly have been lonely, living there in that perfect world. And yet he realized that he was incomplete. God caused him to fall into a deep sleep and there, when he awoke, standing before him, was the perfect complement to him, the perfect mate. In wonder he exclaimed, “This at last is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh.” He praised God for his marvelous provision.
But then Adam sinned. He fell for the deception of the devil. And when God called out to him he turned on that woman, he turned on that gift and said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” He turned on that gift, hated it, and in that moment hated the one who gave it.
Jesus called Peter to be one of his disciples. Jesus simply said, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” And Peter followed. For several years he followed, walking in the steps of the man who claimed to be the Messiah. He followed him all the way to Jerusalem, even proclaiming, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
But then danger came. Suddenly that Savior did not seem so mighty. And when the people said to Peter, “You were with Jesus of Nazareth,” he cursed and swore “I do not know the man!” He turned on that gift, hated it, and in that moment hated the one who gave it.
Why are we like this? Why am I like this? Why do I marvel at something for a time and then grow weary of it, grow complacent toward it and even come to despise it? How do good gifts become old and tired gifts?