Heaven is For Real. So Why Don’t We Talk About it More?

July 10, 2014 | 15 comments

Dear God,

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.

Heaven.

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.

Toward You.

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.

by | July 10, 2014 | 15 comments

15 Comments

  1. Sarah

    Amen. Let’s talk about it more. And let’s start living with that end in mind. Please, God, let it be so!

    Reply
  2. Constance Ann Morrison

    There are tears as I read–did you write this for me? We attended my nephew’s graveside service yesterday. I am, the whole family is waiting for that Homecoming day.

    Reply
  3. Becky Keife

    Beautiful, Jennifer. I’m in a sweet season of actually talking about the sweetness of heaven more than I ever have before as my two oldest boys, ages 5 and 4, are tenderly curious about all things Jesus. They want to know what the fruit taste like in heaven and what color hair everyone will have. They want me to tell them again and again that they can kiss the gorillas and that Grandpa Ralph will be there. It does my heart good to fix my eyes on things above. To glean from their childlike faith of wonder and every-fiber-of-their-being believing. Yes, let’s talk about heaven more, friend. And let’s live only for today and That Day, because it’s the thing we can be certain is coming.

    Reply
  4. Colleen Connell Mitchell

    I love this, Jennifer. I think suffering draws us to think more about heaven. As a mom who has lost one child at three months and 4 to miscarriage, I can say I dream often about heaven. About the day Jesus will welcome me home and all pain and separation will be gone in the light of His love and I will see Him face to face and be reunited with these little ones I long to see again. My trouble is seeing this day as the only thing between here and there. Oh to life singularly focused like that. God draw near and hold my gaze.

    Reply
  5. marthaorlando

    Oh, this brought tears to my eyes and such a longing for THAT day. Heaven is for real, for sure and for certain. Thank you for reminding us in such eloquent prose to talk more about it and imagine, even though our minds are limited, just how awesome a place it is.
    Blessings to you!

    Reply
  6. Ginny Jaques

    “But maybe we need to say it more down here? Maybe it would help us keep a proper perspective about things.”

    Right on! I don’t think we can be of any earthly good unless we’re heavenly-minded. Thanks for saying this.

    I tried to imagine, not heaven, but a perfect earth, in Zinovy’s Journey. What will the earth be like when Jesus returns and fixes it? I know my imagination was inadequate, and that it’s much better (and different) than I imagined. Can’t wait!

    But if anyone can imagine anything close to what it’s like I think it would be you, Jennifer! The wonderfully crazy things you come up with in this post!! Doing puzzles with the thief on the cross! Elijah and sushi! How fun. (but could it be teriyaki and tempura instead of raw fish?)

    Reply
  7. bonnierose

    oh how I loved reading this. xo

    Reply
  8. nanabren44

    With my Mom’s passing I really needed this~ I know Heaven is for Real and by faith I live that daily but the physical loss of someone so close and so loving and caring and gentle is the Hardest thing we will ever do on this earth~

    Reply
  9. Leah Adams

    Heaven…it becomes much for ‘real’ once you have made a deposit there. I think often of my Daddy in heaven…my earthly Daddy, and my heavenly Daddy. I long for the day when my faith will be sight. My small group and I have spent the last year and a half studying the book of Revelation. Whew! Now that really makes heaven come to life in vivid detail.

    Reply
  10. Jillie

    Selah.
    Let us pause and take this in.
    Absolutely beautiful, Jennifer. Stirring the longing for The Place where there will be no more tears, no more sorrow, no more horror, no more war. Reunions with those who’ve gone on before us. Oh what a Day, what a glorious Day that will be. Thank you so much for lifting our eyes heavenward today.

    Reply
  11. Paula Gamble

    Beautiful, sweet friend! “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?” Me too! Jennifer, thank you for your faithful presence and encouragement! May you be blessed today! I love you!

    Reply
  12. Nancy Ruegg

    You made me laugh and cry today, Jennifer! First, I laughed when you said, “I do want to feed a giraffe.” I’ve actually done that! But it never occurred to me that doing so was a bit of heaven!! I love that idea, though. Some of life’s moments are just that: glimpses of heaven. With you, I want to live aware and not miss a one. Second, I cried as you began your conclusion, naming some of the hurts and pains we endure now that will be banished forever in our new home. And your prayer echoes mine: “Help us live for what matters to You today, because those are the things that matter for eternity.” Thank you, Jennifer for the passion and beauty of your words!

    Reply
  13. Kathy

    Your writing was very touching to me. It was especially so as my mom just went to be with the Lord on July 8th. She was 92 and a godly woman, but gripped by Parkinson’s. I am blessed to know that she is in the arms of Jesus in heaven where all tears are wiped away and His presence brings joy unspeakable and glorious.

    Reply
  14. cory87

    thank you for reminding me that heaven is for real .
    I had long forgotten that particularly after having a rough patch in church.
    I have battled the possibility of it but you helped me see the reality and beauty of it.
    God bless you.

    Reply
  15. Sharon Brobst

    Oh Yes This! “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.”

    I must admit, having crossed over into my 50’s I have found myself thinking…longing for heaven more often….Thank you sweet sister for this beautiful reminder. Heaven is very real and so much better than anything we have here.

    Reply

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