Heaven has been much on my mind of late. When a good friend dies and you know without any doubt that he now abides there, it does cause you to long for heaven a bit more than you did before.
Confidence in his destiny comes from knowing of his faith in Jesus. He knew Jesus came to save him from his sin and sealed the deal by depositing God’s Spirit in him which enabled him to love God with everything he had. He knew that Jesus was God incarnate-God in human flesh, born of a virgin-a young ordinary godly girl-and then Jesus died a horrible death in our stead-because God is love. After all that, he conquered death and rose up from the grave which in turn conquered eternal death for us. The result: Heaven. Wow-it’s true!!
After a brief knowledge of illness, merciful Jesus took Ron home. Home in Heaven! See why I’ve been thinking about heaven a lot.
In the garden today with my grand’s, my eldest grandson asked me if God liked flowers- “because He certainly made quite a few.” I told Eli that God loved flowers and had the best creative imagination in the whole universe from way before time began.
We started to compare the colors and shapes and smells and styles of all the flowers and were quite amazed. Then Eli asked if flowers were in heaven because his Nana loved flowers too. (Nana was Gabe’s mom who died three years ago-Another reason to long for heaven. :-))
I quickly agreed that flowers must be in heaven-flowers of colors and shapes and smells that we have never seen. “If we love these flowers on earth then just imagine how much we will admire the heavenly ones.” We were amazed at God!
Also, I pointed to a particular flower in the garden then immediately went over and spaded the thing out of there. I then held it up for Eli and the others to see.
“This is a weed trying to look like it belongs here. This is one thing that will not be in heaven. And, it is a reminder that we are not in heaven yet as some people tend to think.”
No, we are not in heaven yet. Oh, I agree, that every now and then we catch a glimpse of it.
When my hubby and I enjoy a sweet moment and he tells me how much he loves me and cherishes me-Oh, and how beautiful I am-that is a heaven moment.
… grandchildren sitting around a table telling us of all of the wonders they have seen like beautiful butterflies and lovely squiggly worms, and then Makenna tells us of a truth of the Lord she heard or read from the bible and wants to talk about it-yep-another little touch of heaven.
… my children tell me they love me, hug me and kiss me and I look at them and see children who love God and who live for Him and teach their children to love Him too. A son who is still seeking and discovering and oh how I long for God to touch him and the hope I have that God will not disappoint and will lead him to a safe harbor in His love, I so get a small glimpse again, of a heavenly joy.
…good friends come to our rescue in times of need. Friends who love us despite our faults and pray and encourage us. What a heavenly sense of belonging! There are so few things as wondrous as good friends, yet so many seem so alone.
Heaven isn’t completely hidden from us. We can get a very real glimpse of it. Let’s look at a couple of bible verses…
Jesus says in John 14:2-3~ “I am going to heaven to prepare a place for you…I will come back and take you with me that you may also be where I am.”
Can you imagine how happy these words made His disciples? They loved Him and wanted to be with Him. Jesus loved them and wanted to be with them too. So my conclusion is Heaven is place where Jesus will be and we will be with Him. Isn’t that enough? But there’s more…
Thessalonians 4:16-18~ For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore, comfort one another with these words.
We will be with friends and family and a whole world of believers from every tribe, tongue and nation! That’s a huge blessing and promise. None of us like to be alone. God knows this. He gave Jesus apostles and disciples and friends and family. They are with Him now as we will be one day. Without end!
Psalm 37:4 says “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” I have always applied this verse to earthly living and never thought about it for heaven. Yet…
Randy Alcorn in his book In Light of Eternity says “God invites us to delight in Him, His place, His plan, and His people.” Let’s learn how to delight!!!
On earth, I have a problem being satisfied. It’s true and I pray it becomes less true, but can you imagine the delighting that takes place in heaven. No dissatisfaction! No disenchantment! No dysfunction!! Just pure delight in Him who provides and satisfies!!!
Eternity!! Here’s one really good reason to look toward heaven. We can’t fathom eternity but we can fathom death. We’ve all lost those dear to us. We have all suffered with maladies that scare us. Yet, we will live an eternity in heaven. That’s for-ev-ver!!
Revelation 21:4-And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
Look at this promise for eternity. WOW!! What can beat this? Nothing can!! Yay God!
2 Corinthians 4:18-We fix our eyes not on what’s seen. For what is seen is temporal, but what is unseen is eternal.
Our good friend Ron Cronk and his wife Cheryl have recently traveled this road. He died suddenly of pancreatic cancer leaving Cheryl without him. That is so hard I resist trying to imagine it, yet her pastor relayed a story at his memorial that went something like this.
“I stopped by to see Cheryl and she was sitting with Ron who was resting best he could and didn’t appear to be conscious. Cheryl and I spoke on several things and she mentioned that she had hoped Ron would live till their 28th wedding anniversary on June 4th but that wasn’t to be. Ron stirred at that moment and patted Cheryl’s leg and said, “Don’t worry mama. That’s not what’s important. What’s important is that we see Jesus on the other side.””
Jesus is waiting to welcome us home.
I think of this world as my home. I keep trying to make my home the best most comfortable place I would want to live. I feather my little nest thinking I am going to spend quite a bit of time in it but lo and behold, my time is like a vapor-gone that fast.
We’re talking eternity here!! We need to grasp it-maybe a little at a time, but none-the-less grasp it and hang on to it. It is our HOPE!
As Randy Alcorn wrote in his “eternity” book:
“We are strangers in a foreign country called earth. We live in tents, feeble temporary dwellings, but we’re headed for glorious permanence.
We live on shifting sand, but we look forward everyday to a city with foundations-the city that will never fall; the city whose builder and maker is none other than…the carpenter of Nazareth.”
And as C.S. Lewis wrote in his Narnia books after Aslan’s creatures leave Narnia and enter heaven they say,
“I have come home at last. 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 because sometimes it looked a little like this.”
I struggle with eternity. I want to put my eyes on heaven, not on its mere shadow. My heart’s desire is to fulfill what God has for me here on this temporary home and then go home to Him. I don’t believe its one big mission or big event for me but a succession on everyday things that make me heaven ready and hopefully others too. I long for others to know Jesus and love Him. I pray this every day and I know that God is able to do it.