Heaven Is Not The End!

Heaven Is Not The End!

 

The loft of the grand cathedral filled with teenagers dressed in black. If I could go back in time, I would revisit this moment. Parents filled the pews below and several hundred choir students filed into place quiet as monks. Stain glass windows cast a dull glow all around us.

I had been practicing these songs for an entire school year and reveled in their beauty but I had no idea how adding hundreds of other voices in this optimum setting would transport me.  And then tongues were loosened with the command from below and if I could imagine what angels in heaven sound like, this would be as close as I could fathom. Then and there everything in the world faded away.

Fast forward nearly 20 years and the power of music still has the same affect on me. On Sunday, the worship time of music filled our cavernous church and though the lights were dimmed I could make out the several rows across the aisle. There stood a couple from the Middle East, a family from Asia, and a dozen other nationalities beside them. For a brief moment, it looked like the future. All of us, every nation, united in heart as we praised God.

My friends and family have never understood, but ever since I can remember, I have been fervently praying for the Lord to return for His people and take us to heaven.

Even now, my little sons tell me that “maybe today we will hear the trumpet, Mommy.” They are used to hearing my excitement about the day when we are joined with our Heavenly Father. When troubles loom, I long for heaven, but it’s so much more than that for me. I don’t think of the Lord’s return as an escape. More than anything else, I just know that to be with Jesus is far better than anything there is to offer here. Heaven is better than finding a spouse. Heaven is better than having a child. And Heaven is better than a chance to see the Eiffel Tower, the Grand Canyon, or the Great Barrier Reef. There are times when I feel God’s presence so powerfully that it brings me to tears and I crave more of that! Those intense times of fellowship with God fade, and leave me longing. Only when we are in the presence of God do we get to enjoy Him forever.

Those times when I get a taste of God’s deep presence-singing in a magnificent choir, or seeing how love for the Lord unites us across cultures reminds me that there is a better future for us than we can imagine.

The Lord’s timing is perfect in all things and He knows when the time will be right to return for those who have committed their lives to Him. Meanwhile, we carry on and persevere as God would have us do.

Psalm 84:1-12

How lovely is your dwelling place,

Lord Almighty!

My soul yearns, even faints,

for the courts of the Lord;

my heart and my flesh cry out

for the living God.

Even the sparrow has found a home,

and the swallow a nest for herself,

where she may have her young—

a place near your altar,

Lord Almighty, my King and my God.

Blessed are those who dwell in your house;

they are ever praising you.

Blessed are those whose strength is in you,

whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.

As they pass through the Valley of Baka,

they make it a place of springs;

the autumn rains also cover it with pools.

They go from strength to strength,

till each appears before God in Zion.

Hear my prayer, Lord God Almighty;

listen to me, God of Jacob.

Look on our shield,O God;

look with favor on your anointed one.

Better is one day in your courts

than a thousand elsewhere;

I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God

than dwell in the tents of the wicked.

For the Lord God is a sun and shield;

the Lord bestows favor and honor;

no good thing does he withhold

from those whose walk is blameless.

Lord Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts in you.

Keep your perspective eternal. Ask God to increase your understanding and desire for things that last beyond this lifetime. The best life here pales in comparison for the believer whose hope is in God. If you don’t know that deep in your heart, you are missing out. The peace that comes from the assurance of our eternal future allows us to face any trial, let go of any person, and alter any attitude. If you are gripping tightly to something or someone that you believe will finally bring you satisfaction here, gaze beyond it. There is Someone so much better awaiting us and Heaven will not disappoint. Heaven is not the end of our lives-it’s the beginning of life to the full.

YOUR TURN!! Have you experienced times of deep communion with God and tasted a little bit of what heaven will be like? How do you keep your perspective eternal? Are you satisfied in looking forward to your future home with God? If this post blessed you, please SHARE it with others! I love to hear from you!!

Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory. Psalm 115:1

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Amber Lia

A former high school English teacher, Amber is a work-at-home mom of 4 little boys under the age of 10. She is the best-selling author of Triggers: Exchanging Parents’ Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses and Parenting Scripts: When What You’re Saying Isn’t Working, say Something New. She and her husband Guy own Storehouse Media Group, a faith-friendly and family-friendly TV and Film production company in Los Angeles, CA. When she’s not building sand castles with her boys on the beach, or searching for Nerf darts all over her house, you can find Amber writing to encourage families on her blog at Mother of Knights (www.motherofknights.com).