“Don’t let this throw you. You trust God, don’t you? Trust Me. There is plenty of room for you in My Father’s home. If that weren’t so, would I have told you that I’m on my way to get a room ready for you? And if I’m on my way to get your room ready, I’ll come back and get you so you can live where I live. And you already know the road I’m taking.”
Thomas said, “Master, we have no idea where you’re going. How do you expect us to know the road?”
Jesus said, “I am the Road, also the Truth, also the Life. No one gets to the Father apart from Me. If you really knew Me, you would know My Father as well. From now on, you do know Him. You’ve even seen Him! (John 14:1-7, The Message)
As I struggled to extricate myself from bed this morning, I asked the Lord what He wanted me to write about heaven. A beat passed before I realized it had been awhile since I asked Him what I should write or say about…well, anything. My Good Christian™ brain wanted to feel mortified, but my heart felt blessedly relieved, like picking up the phone after a too-long break in communication. Punching in the numbers you know by heart but haven’t dialed in quite awhile. I knew He was on the other end of the line, and I recognized my Shepherd’s voice.
Heaven is a tough one for me, tied together with rapture anxiety, the mysteries of eternity, and gilded with the golden streets and crowns and mansions I can’t possibly imagine. If I’m honest, I like the world I’m in. I’m comfortable here, I know these streets and love the small, imperfect house I have. The dark and stormy days smell and feel like my old Kansas home, and the chaos of children and balance of ministry fill my hours and days.
Some days it feels gloriously mundane to be human, a “liturgy of the ordinary” I know by heart.
And yet…I feel twitchy. Some things don’t fit like I thought they would. I struggle to understand the place God has put me, the roles He’s given me. I want to say this is a recent occurrence, that midlife trend I’ve heard so much about. But as I prayed about it this morning – and as I write about it now—I realize this feeling, this scratchy, ill-fitting, frustrating, disquiet I just can’t place is perhaps a holy longing for what I don’t yet know and can’t yet see.
Things are not as they should be. My spirit recognizes it, even as my heart and body longs for purpose and peace here, in this broken, hurting world, where friends and family die too soon and souls drown in Mediterranean waters. Where injustice reigns and conflict invades. Where we groan for a coming day…
So I look to the sky, I look to Him, I look towards the place He has called us—called me. The connection won’t be fuzzy, it won’t be distant, where the intimate purpose of my days will be sweet, unfiltered communion with Jesus, and with you.
That’s the heaven I long for: the Home I can’t yet see, but already know by heart.
Warmly in Christ,
“I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.” (Psalm 27:13-14, NIV)
Where or how are you struggling to feel purpose or fulfillment here on earth?
How has God shown you glimpses of heaven in your every day, sacred ordinary?
Looking for a book on heaven? May I suggest an unconventional one: Till We Have Faces, by C.S. Lewis.