As the weather is finally beginning to warm up, I’ve taken to doing my schoolwork outside. I’ll spread a blanket over the grass and read a book; it’s just one of those things that makes schoolwork that much more enjoyable.
Some days though, I’ll find myself daydreaming as I gaze at the soft, white apple blossoms that seem to contrast so beautifully with the vibrant, green grass. I’ve never been much of a bird watcher, yet I can’t help but notice the brightly colored cardinals, chirping to each other as they hop from tree to tree. The beauty of God’s creation leaves my speechless at times, but what hits me hardest is the thought that this world is fallen. Can you even begin to imagine what these things looked like when God first created them? What would our response be to that?
Of course, while there is beauty in the world that affects me in such a way, there’s also sorrow, pain, suffering, perversity, decay, and just plain evil. All we have to do is turn on the news and we’re faced with the reality of man’s fallen state. It seems as though disasters are everywhere now and it’s a scary thought – at least it is for me.
I know that the world won’t be here forever, but sometimes it’s hard to think that way. After all, this is where we are; this is how we live. In our minds, Heaven can seem vague, hazy, and out of reach. We trust that it’s there because God says it is, but – with our human understanding – it’s simpler to wrap ourselves up in our familiar surroundings. We find it difficult to picture anything beyond all this.
Longing For Heaven? –
A few years ago, my Dad served on our local CEF board. The board members mostly consisted of elderly folks and I can remember when the wife of one of the gentlemen passed away. Another elderly man came in and said, “Boy, I’m gettin’ jealous; all these people gettin’ to Heaven before me.” I can’t deny that I was taken by surprise at his words. Death is a painful thing that we’re prone to avoid at all costs, but here was this man, “jealous” of his friend who had gone to be with the Lord.
As Christians though, shouldn’t we be longing for the presence of God and the beauty of His Home? For me, it’s not really that I’m not looking forward to Heaven, it’s more the fact that I like my life here on earth. The Lord has blessed me with some pretty amazing people and I don’t really like the thought of leaving them. I’d rather enfold myself in these things and hold on to them with all of my might, but still they slip away – even as I grasp at them. There comes a point when I must realize that life here isn’t all there is and it isn’t even the main point. Eventually, all of these things will pass away; I can’t hold on to them forever.
I get so caught up in making this life the best that it can be, but forget that this life is only the passage way to eternity. That doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy my life right now, it simply means that I need to live my earthly life with the knowledge that my eternal life is most important. With this knowledge – when troubles come – I can hold on to the promise that one day I’ll be in the presence of my Savior and when that day comes, I won’t experience any more of the heartache that this life holds. Because, you see – despite all its beauty – life on earth is painful. Reality is rough and as comfortable as we try to make it, this fallen world is not our home. Our home is with the Lord.
“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:4
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” -2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Think about it. No more cruelty; no more rejection or misunderstandings; No more decay or perversity. Even the beauty of this world will be nothing to compare with the beauty of Heaven and if you think you’re speechless now, just wait!
For Where Your Treasure Is –
With these thoughts in my mind, I’m ready to get to work for my Lord. I’m ready to start storing my treasures in Heaven, realizing that the treasures of this earth – while I may enjoy them now – will not last forever.
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” -Matthew 6:19-21