As part of my devotions this morning, I brushed off the dust from a book I purchased right after my husband passed away a couple years ago. The name of the book is "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn. I randomly opened up the book and found so many notes, underlines, highlites, and stars by paragraphs that it took me by surprise. I wasn't surprised by the marking (I tend to do that with books I enjoy); however, the amount was eye-brow-raising! I remember the feelings that were swishing through me while reading this book. I was desperate to find out about the new place my husband had just left for. I needed to find out everything I could about it so that I would somehow feel closer to him. I've always believed in heaven, and never doubted for a moment that it was a real and tangible place. My dad is their, my grandparents are their, and many friends have already made that journey. I never thought much about what they would be experiencing until it was my own husband that left.
Maybe it was part of the whole "grieving cycle", but I needed to have more details. Hence the book by Randy Alcorn. I will be honest with you, I did not read every word, as he at times was more detailed than I was willing to delve into, but I did read alot of it. Back to this morning...
I opened up to this portion, and it just did something for me that I really needed today...it soothed me: "We see life differently when we realize that death isn't a wall but a turnstile; a small obstacle that marks a great beginning."
I am not feeling down or depressed, or even missing my husband to be quite honest. I simply enjoy learning about my future home. I've always viewed Earth as my temporary dwelling place. Ever since I was a child, and found out about a place called Heaven, and a home that my Heavenly Father has been preparing for me, I've been interested!
I often wondered how people who say they believe in life after death, and a place called Heaven, yet they show no interest in what it will be like. That would be like purchasing a home completely blind! Don't you want to know what the house will look like? How many bedrooms/bathrooms, how much land is their and are there any rivers or streams close by? I have always had a vivid imagination, so dreaming of what my heavenly home would be like was something I did often. Don't get me wrong; I love life; I like Earth; and I have no death-wish to leave any earlier than I'm suppose to. I plan on being here for a long time, but I live my life as if today might be my last day on Earth. For me, it keeps things in balance.
I enjoy being here, but long to be their. I long for what Adam and Eve had! A perfect Earth! A place where all relationships are in perfect harmony, whether it be with God, each other, animals or the environment! This world is not my home; I'm just passing through. We are all on our way to someplace else. The great surprise though, is that my final destination is going to be Earth! Its just going to be a better Earth. A perfect Earth. A new Earth. (ok, I get a little excited when I think about it). The idea of flying off to another place somewhere out their, never really excited me, and truthfully, sort of frightened me. But when I realized that heaven is really going to be Earth remade... well, I got happy. You see, I've lived on terra-firma for so long, that I kind of like it, and feel comfortable on it. It just needs a good cleansing... that's all.
So the view from where I'm at looks ok... I see the world as it is, and yes, it seems to be "falling to pieces in a handbasket" my mom says. Between the politics, economics, environment, and the pitiful nature of unsaved mankind, it seems very very dark. But... its always the darkest just before the dawn.
We all long to return to Paradise, a perfect world without sin and corruption. I have found that the more I find out about the "Paradise" or "heavenly home", actually the happier and more at peace I am here on this temporary Earth. I know that when this world comes to an end, its not really the end for me. Its just the beginning of my journey on the New Earth/Paradise/Heaven (whatever name you want to put on it). That gives me hope that there is a future for me; this isn't all there is to life.
Heaven isn't a spot on a map, but its home. When I think of home, I think of familiy, comfort, refuge, a place of great smells and taste. Good food around the table and wonderful enlightening and open conversations; I think of expressing myself through talents that I 've been given (music); I think of passion; freedom; laughter and joy. A place where I can let my hair down and run free.
When I look out the window, the view that I see right now is a wall; a little patch of blue sky; a little patch of green grass; and a sidewalk where children race by on their skateboards. When I look out the window of my car the view I see is other cars racing by in a hurry to get somewhere; accidents along the side of the road; traffic; smog; exhaust and tension. When I look out the window of my heart, I see people who need encouragement, a hug, a smile; children who laugh no matter what is going on around them; birds, flowers, grass that grows in the desert; the smell of the desert after the rain; the stars, the moon, air to breath, a car to drive to work in, food in my frig, clothes in my closet and shoes on my feet. I see arms that reach up to hug me, and slobbery kisses from my sweet grandbabies, singing and music, worship and praise, I have the Bible to be taught by and encouraged from... yes, the world is falling apart, but there are still so many things I'm grateful for and thankful for. My eyes see things from a different viewpoint. This isn't my final home, but it is my home for now. God has a perfect a wonderous plan for me and I am looking forward to it with great anticipation. In the meantime? I'm going to go dump the garbage...
Enjoy the journey...