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“Farewell to Shadowlands” is the title of the last chapter of the book The Last Battle, the last book in The Chronicles of Narnia series.  On the last page, C. S. Lewis writes:

“There was  a real railway accident,” said Aslan softly. “Your father and mother and all of you are–as you used to call it in the Shadowlands–dead.  The term is over:  the holidays have begun.  The dream is ended:  this is the morning.”

And as He spoke He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them.  And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after.  But for them it was only the beginning of the real story.  All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page:  now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read:  which goes on forever:  in which every chapter is better than the one before.”

(C. S. Lewis, The Last Battle (HarperCollins: New York, 1956) p. 228.)

Chronicles of Narnia is a work of fiction, but there is a parallel in our lives.  In the last book of the Bible is a passage that reads,

1Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

5He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” (Revelation 21:1-5)

I believe that God has done something special through Jesus Christ.  In his life, death and rising from the grave, Jesus has put in place a new reality.  Now there is more to life than what we see around us in this world.  Our life in this world is only the beginning of an everlasting life with a God who is always with us, who always loves us, who carries our burdens and provides for our needs.  As one of his people in this world, we get to play a part in God’s plan in making all things new.  We get to share his message of life and hope and forgiveness and peace with others.  We get to role up our sleeves and work to make this world a better place.  We share God’s concern for all of his creation, the people and the planet.  And one day, we get to begin “Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read:  which goes on forever:  in which every chapter is better than the one before.”

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

I hope that you enjoy the site!

James

9 Comments

  1. Preparing for a Bible study on Psalm 23 and the thought of Jesus the Good Shepherd guiding us through the “shadowlands” came to mind. I found this and was blessed. Beautifully written and a tremendous comfort during these days. Thank you.

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    1. You are welcome, Becky! God bless you as you comfort others with the comfort God has given you through Jesus!

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  2. Paul,

    Thank you for the inspiring words on your website!

    One of my favorite movies is “Shadowlands”, with Anthony Hopkins and Debra Winger, the true love story of C.S. Lewis and his wife Joy Gresham:

    We live in the Shadowlands. The sun is always shining somewhere else. Round a bend in the road. Over the bough of a hill. One day, the clouds will be rolled back and the glorious rays of God’s love will illuminate our minds so we can see clearly. The pain now is part of the happiness then.

    For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now we know in part; but then we shall know fully even as we are fully known. (1 Cor. 13:12)

    My dear friends, we are now God’s children, but it is not yet clear what we shall become. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him as He truly is. (1 John 3:2)

    When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory; But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! (1 Cor. 15: 54,57)

    Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. (2 Cor. 4: 16,17)

    Live It Well
    – Switchfoot

    Take the burden from my arms
    Take the anchors off my lungs
    Take me broken and make me one
    Break the silence and make it a song
    Life is short; I wanna live it well
    One life, one story to tell
    Life is short; I wanna live it well
    And you’re the one I’m living for
    Awaken all my soul
    Every breath that you take is a miracle
    Life is short; I wanna live it well, yeah
    I wanna sing with all my heart a lifelong song
    Even if some notes come out right and some come out wrong
    ‘Cause I can’t take none of that through the door
    Yeah, I’m living for more than just a funeral
    I wanna burn brighter than the dawn
    Life is short; I wanna live it well
    One life, one story to tell
    Life is short; I wanna live it well
    And you’re the one I’m living for
    Awaken all my soul
    Every breath that you take is a miracle
    Life is short; I wanna live it well, yeah
    I got one life and one love
    I got one voice, but maybe that’s enough
    ‘Cause with one heartbeat and two hands to give
    I got one shot and one life to live
    One life to live, yeah
    And every breath you take is a miracle
    Life is short; I wanna live it well
    One life, one story to tell (one love)
    Life is short; I wanna live it well
    And you’re the one I’m living for (the one, yeah)
    Awaken all my soul
    Every breath that you take is a miracle
    Life is short; I wanna live it well
    And you’re the one I’m living for
    One life, one love
    (One love) One life, one love
    (One voice) One voice, yeah
    (And that’s enough) And that’s enough, oh
    (One heartbeat, two hands to give)
    I got one shot and one life to live
    One life to live

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