When I was young, my life stretched before me like some unwritten adventure novel waiting to be explored. I had a lot of ‘dreams’, ideas, hopes and things I wanted to do and be. The last thing I wanted to think about was a misty far off place that I couldn’t even imagine, yet figured involved floating on clouds, playing harps and singing praises all the day for the rest of eternity.
I knew God existed, and I knew the ‘stories’, as I was brought up in a home that acknowledged God and Jesus- but I was typical of many people who consider themselves Christians because they were raised in a Christian family going to church every Sunday, or at least at Christmas and Easter.
I wasn’t ready for a relationship with my Creator yet. I was too interested in the created and what all it had to amuse, provide and allow me to do in it. Getting to know God in a personal relationship, to me, was something old people did. And thinking about eternity somewhere was for even older people. Heaven was distant, and the world was ready for my exploring it.
I finally ‘met’ Jesus for real when He saved me as a youngish 30 year old. Life happens, and it happens hard sometimes. Years of plans put on hold and dreams put away, abuses and just living had made me look at the idea of eternity with a little more critical eye and by the time I finally called out to Jesus, I knew that even if I didn’t understand much about heaven, if I could go there after my life here was done, I’d be grateful.
The point to all of this is that I understand what it’s like to be young and full of worldly wonders, waiting for your life to begin, or excited that it has begun or you’re just getting the hang of enjoying it and earning enough to play. But I also understand more as time goes on and life happens, that those who are older Christians have a reason for looking to heaven more and more.
I was always and still am a restless type. No kidding, really.
I have a restless heart not just for heaven, and not even just for Jesus- although He is the main reason I can’t wait. There are things I love about the life He’s given me, things I love about our world, but my heart is restless more and more as the world gets more cold, calculated, hard and selfish. I long for Jesus’ righteous rule, and no more temptations or sin. I grow restless waiting on true peace, not only for me, but others I love and know need His lasting Peace even more than I do.
I am tired of politics, meanness, all the things the Bible warned of ‘in the last days’ of how society would be. I’m tired of feeling older, even when I’m still relatively young. I’m tired of still finding ways to sin, even without wanting to and I’m tired of seeing what life in a fallen world “does” to too many people.
I look forward to His creation as it was intended, perfect. I look forward to the place He’s been preparing for His own for the past 2000 years. Compared to 6 days creating our world, it’s going to be incredibly awesome. I look forward to seeing Jesus face to face, and being there with him, because I’m wanted there, not ever having to leave or get kicked out.
No diseases, no pain, no bullies or abusers, no selfishness, no social in”justice”, not politics, agendas, arrogance, greed, corruption and no social classes or cliques…
I know it’s hard to think about heaven and being restless for eternity when you’re young and have a life ahead of you, and even when you have a life still living, and trying to achieve something lasting for the next generation if not for ourselves- but I’ve noticed a lot of restlessness among folks the past few years, not all of us are old either. I have to think that God is conditioning us because time is getting close for Him calling us home.
I so look forward to that.
I had this devotion topic in my mind for the past couple of weeks, but wasn’t sure how I could reach younger readers with this message too. But now, I have to share something that happened this past weekend as a reminder that none of us knows when our time here is going to be done, and that death does not discriminate.
Our church has a ministry in a few of the schools in our community. The high school here lost one of their students, a friend, one of the football team, and a good kid who had given his life to Jesus last year. He was 15 years old. He was getting ready to go into youth ministry. Their youth group had a beach day, and he drowned. It rocked the group hard, rocked many of our own church who just happened to have a beach outing an hour or so after they had been there. Some in our church knew him and his family. Instead of fun, food and fellowship, they were able to minister to the younger folks who had seen their friend die, and the boy’s family.
Not a lot of us knew him, but our church folks who were there loved on those who needed it so desperately and will continue to minister to fellow students who need answers of the big question “Why.”
This boy is in heaven with His Lord. Many people we love are there too. Some have gone after a full life here first, others have been taken long before we think should it should happen.
Heaven is something to think about even if your life here is going well because we just never know when it’s our time to go home. This story and devotion isn’t meant for sadness, but for hope. Jesus loves you and heaven is real. Jesus died so you could live in eternity with Him, in perfect love, peace and joy.
Eternity is a lot longer than our life time on earth, no matter our ages. Once we leave this world, we have the opportunity to spend eternity there and to see those we’ve loved once again. That’s another thing I look so forward to. Home.