He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men. (Eccl. 3:11)

In April of 1981, I faced a near-death experience. Thankfully God spared my life. Not able to return to my apartment that night, I went to a friend’s home and spent the rest of the night sitting up in bed. As morning dawned, I began to see the slight form of a dogwood tree outside the window. Lovely blooms came into view as the sun brightened. That may have been the most beautiful sight of my life!

My church presented a cantata the following Sunday, and I was the pianist. As I accompanied the choir, the words “Because He lives, I can face tomorrow” took on new meaning. I realized because Jesus was alive, I literally could face another tomorrow. Facing tomorrow made today beautiful.

If living in the present moment is our only hope, many of us would give in to despair. Some days, even some months or years, threaten our faith and challenge our ability to cope. In 1969 Peggy Lee made famous the song “Is That All There Is?” Looking only at our present circumstances, we may wonder the same.

When we peer through the lens of eternity, however, today takes on a whole new meaning. We see with different eyes. Circumstances that appear dismal today are infused with God’s promise of deliverance.

The gift of eternity shines the spotlight of beauty on our lives today.

With the promise of eternity in mind, take another look at your present circumstances.

Dianne Swaim is a chaplain at the VA Hospital in Little Rock, Arkansas. Married to Gordon, she is the mother of three and grandmother of nine.