Pointing at Glory
There is nothing in the popular media images of heaven that induces me to want to go there. A bunch of sweetly smiling people dressed as pseudo angels in white robes and feathered wings, while strumming harps, isn’t the kind of place I’d like to spend a week, let alone the whole of eternity.
(Actually that’s not entirely true because I do want to learn to play the harp one day, maybe when I’m a granny, but sure a few years of that would be enough to keep me satisfied.)
We don’t know a whole lot about heaven; we are only given a few glimpses of it in the Bible. This song describes how the singer uses her imagination to try and capture any of it at all.
I find it overwhelming at times when I try and imagine heaven myself, simply because I am looking it through the lenses of what I know of life on earth. Because I know that being in any one place for any great length of time can inevitably lead to me becoming bored and discontent, the thoughts of eternity are way too much. My human mind is unable to grasp the full extent of what that means.
There are specific times when I long for this earth to be made new and heaven to come soon, for all the evil and brokenness of this world to be permanently overcome and our joy to be made complete. I yearn for an end to pain and sorrow, suffering and grief.
Yet I know that when we look back on the time in our lives when we’ve been through the worst trials, these are the times when our character and faith have been strengthened and refined. These are the times when the jewels have been formed. These are the moments that have brought glory to God as He is the one who makes all things new, and turns our sorrow into rejoicing. He is the fixer of all things and creator of all beauty. How marvelous that He is able to turn even the most evil suffering into something glorious, for our sakes and for His Kingdom!
I believe God in His mercy, kindness and wisdom has created small windows on earth which allow us to catch glimpses of the wonder we will experience when we are with him forever. These windows have nothing to do with bland and boring.
Each moment that we stand in speechless awe before a vast waterfall, a mountain, a rainbow, a sunset or a starry sky and our breath is momentarily taken away. Those places where we know we are in the presence of something greater than ourselves. These instances where we are compelled to want to share with another person because doing so only increases our joy. Those are the moments I believe when He reveals that His works are more marvelous than what we’ll ever be able to comprehend. In the stillness of our wonder He whispers to us “Be still and know that I am God”.
If I could capture that brief moment of wonder, that sensation of being fully enthralled by the majesty of something incredible, and make it last forever, I would go there in an instant. Wouldn’t you want to too?
That is what I imagine heaven to be like, nothing tame or bland or boring, but a place where our breath will be taken away, where we’ll be pointing at Jesus, the maker and source of all the greatest waterfalls, mountain ranges, rainbows, galaxies and sunsets combined. A place where there will be no more sadness, pain or anything bad at all. A place we wouldn’t possibly want to leave for eternity long because our joy is limitless there and nothing that we know on this present earth could possibly equal or better it.
Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”Rev 21:1-5