I’ve encountered the intriguing idea that this created world in which we live is a kind of womb preparing us for everlasting life. Just as our life within our mother’s womb was a time of growth, maturation and preparation for life on earth, our life within God’s created world is meant to help us grow toward permanent union with God. Just as our small dwelling place within the womb eventually opened us out into the larger world, this world will open us into eternity where time and space cease to exist.
I shared these ideas with my daughter. She’s thirteen. As usual, not only did she understand this perfectly, she was even one step ahead. She said: “Cool! It’s like in the womb, we’re attached to our mother, we’re dependent on her, but we don’t see her until we’re born. In this life, we learn to love God, we’re dependent on Him, but we don’t see Him until we get to heaven.” Yep, very true!
For the infant in the womb, many things about his life do not make sense: Why does he have feet? Why does he have lungs? Eyes? These things only prove useful to him after he is born into the world. Likewise, in this life, the purpose of many things can be difficult to understand. Chief among these things is the suffering we must endure, the physical and mental pain that is part of every life. What is their purpose?…. To make us more perfect in self-discipline, love of God and love of neighbor. To prepare us to meet our loving God who always gives us what is best for us, regardless of what we may think is best. Of course, we cannot understand this completely now. It will only make sense when we see our God face to face. We can only continue the journey in faith and hope, trusting in the goodness of our God who loves us and waits for us to come to Him. To reach our heavenly homeland, we must journey through the womb of this world.