Before a baby is born, they are such a wonderful mystery. Though we can get a “peek” at them through ultrasound images, hear their heartbeat with a doppler, and speculate about what they might look like by forming a composite in our imaginations of their mom and dad’s features, we can’t really know them until they are born. And even then, though we may have dreams about what they could do and who they could be, we can’t accurately predict their futures.
As with so many things, God does not operate as we do. Scripture tells us that the God who knows the end from the beginning also knows people even before they are born–he sees every aspect of their lives before they’ve even lived one moment in the world. All of time in one instance – that is what the medieval theologians called eternity – not infinity – but the eternal.
When I think about God in the eternal of heaven, this is the passage that comes to mind:
“Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, [love] is not pompous, it is not inflated…It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” (Cor 13:4,7-8)
God desires our salvation, hopes we use our free will to ever turn to Him, bears the moments when we don’t, and with us endures the time when we live out the consequences of our choices. We might fail, but the love of God for us never fails. He knew us before we were conceived, throughout our lives, and into life eternal.