I’m thinking about heaven today. I don’t do that like I used to, do I? I don’t think about heaven like I did when I first believed.
Maybe it’s because I get so caught up with what went wrong yesterday, and so worried about what might go wrong tomorrow. I get so preoccupied that I forget about the two most important days of all: This day, and that day.
I want to practice what Martin Luther said: “There are only two days on my calendar, this day and that Day.”
I want to live fully, in the day where my feet are planted, with my purpose fixed on the day when I see you face to face.
God, can You help me do that?
If Heaven is for real, why don’t we talk about it more here on Earth? Does that make You sad? Maybe if we talked about that Day more, we’d fret about this day less.
Maybe I don’t think about heaven as often as I should because it’s hard to imagine heaven, even on my most creative days. I squeeze my eyes shut and try to imagine something apart from the fuzzy, cloud-filled, harp-filled, cartoonish interpretations that frankly bore most of us. So I realize, Lord, that I take great liberties in my imagination of heaven, and maybe you laugh when my mind paints all the houses purple, and everyone is running barefoot through snow and spinning through fields of unending Queen Anne’s lace — all on the same day. Maybe you laugh when I imagine this long banquet table where everyone is wearing feather boas at supper, and Elijah passes a plate of angel-rolled sushi. Maybe it’s ridiculous of me to imagine putting together a 1,000-piece puzzle with the guy who hung on the cross next to my Savior.
And maybe you laugh because you know that I have absolutely no idea how amazing it will be … how my imagination is so small, and how you have something really incredible to show me.
I think now about all the funerals, when we sing these words about You–
“When the evening gently closes in,
and you shut your weary eyes,
I’ll be there as I have always been
with just one more surprise.”
That verse always makes me cry. I wonder about the surprises, and I can hardly sing through the lump in my throat. You see me standing in the sanctuary, but I want to fall to my knees.
What’s it like, Father?
I do want to ride on the back of a lion. I do want to feed a giraffe. I do want to tell Thomas how I totally “got” all of his questions. I do want to walk on water, then walk through sand, and then walk straight into Your throne room, tracking sand all the way across the floor, only to find You running straight for me, arms open. Please tell me, Lord, that something like that will happen?
I never want to lock the door of my house. I never want to lose my awe. Or my scars.
And until I get there, I want to believe that the best parts of earth are but an earlier heaven, and that the worst parts will most certainly be excised. You promised that.
Heaven is for real, God. I know You know that. But maybe we need to say it more down here? Maybe it would help us keep a proper perspective about things. Heaven is for real, and I can almost feel its breath on my face if I sit still long enough. It’s not hope-against-hope or a rose-colored-glasses wish. Heaven is an actual address where people actually live.
And we get to live there.
Help us to know that. We need to know it because it’s chaotic down here. And maybe that’s why we forget about heaven.
We can’t see the forest of forever, for all the tangled trees of today.
Help me catch a glimpse of forever today. Because I’ll be there before I know it.
And then? Sin will be a memory. Pain will be lifted. Envy won’t have a voice. So much of what I fret about here on Earth is really my heart crying out for immortality. When my earthly heart begs to be seen, loved, significant and known, this is what’s really happening: our very own souls are stretching arms toward our forever-inheritance.
The real beauty, of course, will be coming Home to You. That’s what our hearts really long for.
We’re going to see Your face someday, Jesus.
Give us a glimpse today. Pull back the curtain just a bit, and let us catch a glimpse of forever — let us catch a glimpse of the tail of a lion. Help us live for what matters to You today, because those are the things that matter for eternity.
I can’t wait to see you, Jesus, on THAT Day. But until then, help us live fully for You in this one.
I’ll see you soon.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.