All Things New
by John Eldredge
I have been a huge fan of John Eldredge’s books for a long time. The Sacred Romance, Beautiful Outlaw, Wild At Heart, and Captivating (which is also on the bookshelf here) among many more have all revealed so much to me about the character of God and how He intended us to live and thrive. He has a way of explaining how he sees the world and God that speaks a language I know, yet seldom hear.
All Things New is no exception. I haven’t read any books on the topic of Jesus’ return and the Restoration before now, and yet within the pages of All Things New, Eldredge reveals that the Great Restoration of all things, when Jesus finally returns, is what our ultimate hopes should be placed in.
He talks about how our kingdom hearts are constantly searching for and catching glimpses of the Kingdom of Heaven that has not yet been brought to earth, and why our kingdom hearts are so grieved when faced with loss. He explains that the “bucket list” mentality is a pointless way to look at our short lives, when everything that we could ever dream of doing and learning and becoming has already been promised to us.
All too often we despair when encountering loss and then fear every moment that we could encounter loss and death again, but when we do so we are admitting that the full implications of the Restoration haven’t yet rooted deeply within us and become the true source of all our hope.
He shows us the Christian’s ultimate hope: That when our King returns, all will be made right. That nothing will truly be lost. That no good thing will be forgotten or abandoned in the eyes of our King. Our stories will be told at the great feast for the first time in the exact right way, with no misunderstandings or inaccuracies. Evil will be demolished and justice will be served. The world will be completely restored and so will we. And our King will make His dwelling place among us on the newly restored earth.
“I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now. The reason why we loved the old Narnia is that it sometimes looked a little like this. Bree-hee-hee! Come further up, come further in!”
-C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle
Eldredge invites us to join him as he practices meditating on what life will be like when the earth is restored, and what we will be like once we have been restored. The world will no longer groan as it waits for the sons and daughters of God to be restored. All will finally be free of the broken burdens we have carried for so long, and we will get to fully experience the world our Father intended us to reign with childlike wonder and joy.
We’ll get to visit all of the places that have brought us joy in the past, doing what we were created to do, and being exactly who we were created to be. We will be able to hear every story, for there will be no time to limit the telling and the listening and the celebrating. We will get to be with our Father and dwell with Him and hear Him laugh and sing. We will be reunited with everyone we have ever been separated from and never have to taste the bitterness of that separation again.
“We have been looking for the kingdom all our lives. When we were children, we searched for it in ponds and cornfields, Africa and bedroom forts we’d make with blankets. We “found” it in fairy tales and our favorite stories. All your life you have been looking for this kingdom. You’ll hear a certain song or piece of music, and it brings you to tears because it is haunting you with the kingdom. All your special places or those you dream of going — the longing you have for them is not because the kingdom is there, but rather because it is calling to you through that place, the aromas, the way you feel when you are there. God knew he had to woo our hearts forward into the Restoration, so he wove the promise of it into the earth. Now you understand why that promise fits perfectly with a wild hope deep within our hearts, a hope we hardly dare to name.”
What a crazy thing to daydream about (and I mean crazy in the best possible way)! This book was a conversation starter for my thought life. An invitation to dream a bit bigger and expand my view on who God is and what His creativity is like. It revealed that I haven’t spent enough time dwelling on what eternity with my King will be like. Because if I did, as so many verses of the Bible implore, how could I not live with the renewed hope that lets me soar on wings like eagles? How could I not live in eager expectation that our victorious King is returning soon? How could I continue to despair and mourn for all that has been broken and lost, as if it will not be returned tenfold when His kingdom comes?
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All will be made right.
All will be made new.
What a magical, wondrous hope this brings.
“If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next.”
I love how Eldredge combines so many of his thoughts with quotes from Lewis’ The Last Battle. For that alone, I think we would be great friends. But within these pages you will also find true beauty admired, understanding pursued, wisdom shared, and imaginations set free. It is a true breath of fresh air, like a life-giving conversation that you would have across the table with a dear friend who is content to sit and dream bigger dreams with you.
I could read All Things New again and again and again.
If you end up reading this, let me know what you think!