‘Ah, Lord GOD! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you.”
Jeremiah 32:17, ESV
“One should go to sleep as homesick passengers do, saying, “Perhaps in the morning we shall see the shore.”
Henry Ward Beecher
I have never been there, except in a stuttering way on my knees in the Lord’s presence. From there it is like climbing a mountain, and breaking through at the summit. It is an astonishing awareness of home. It is where I belong. He wants me there.
But most of the time, I’m slogging through the peanut-butter of everyday reality. It’s ‘scootch-slide-scootch’ most of the time. But I recall my last trip up, so I hold on to that fragrant memory, and it is a tremendous relief to think about his presence.
I want home. I can’t wait. I hope he’s not disappointed in me, or disturbed by the fact that I have made such little progress. The depression and despondency will slough off its skin like a snake. I will know true freedom. This is a sure thing.
I want home. The presence of Jesus is waiting. All of the knots will be worked out. The dark burdens that nip at my heels will disappear. This change is going to be powerful, and most certainly dramatic, and I want home.
For those of us who believe, we will arrive at a place of profound blessing. We will squint back at our life on earth, and wonder what it was all about. A hundred thousand years from now it will seem like a difficult dream which we really can’t remember upon waking.
We will be moving toward him. There will be a magnetism that will exert its pull on our wandering hearts. He will draw us to himself. Guilt and shame, which has deeply infected us will be eradicated. Sometimes, when people train to run they will wear “training weights,” creating more of a burden that has to be overcome. In that way heaven can be understood, for we have spent well over 50 years training for that place.
We come into all of this like a man who has been lost in the desert. Without water, we stumble into what looks like a watery oasis, and we find a refreshing relief. We have been “saved” from a certain death. When we consider what has happened, and how the superheated desert almost destroyed us, we will marvel, and that quite often. Each one there will have a story of failure and faith, and we will listen and than tell our story as well.
What has to be stated, and restated, is the astonishing presence of Jesus in that place. Not only in our thinking, but in a real concrete way. Heaven is not an an abstract or ethereal thing. It is solid and strong. We don’t imagine heaven, instead we are pounded by it. It is more real than real, with a solidity that we will find most refreshing.
“God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”
“I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take away your crown.”
Hold on guys, keep your crown. Don’t let anyone snatch it from you. Advance into his presence, and let him do his stuff on you. He loves you, far more than you love him. He is pursuing you more than you are pursuing him. Somehow that is quite comforting. I want home!