Friday, July 22, 2011

Heavenly Home

Today's passage:  John 17
    I used to listen to a lot of contemporary Christian music.  One of my favorite singers was Wayne Watson.   There is a song he sings that kept running in my head as I was reading this passage.  The song is "Home Free" and the lyrics that especially struck me were these:
"Out in the corridors, they pray for life, A mother for her baby, A husband for his wife, Sometimes the good die young, it's sad but true, But as we pray for one more heartbeat, The real comfort is with You."
     We miss people when they are gone, but if they are saved, they are going Home. Jesus knew this as He was about to face the cross.  He was not looking forward to the pain He was about to take on, but He couldn't wait to get back Home.  I imagine 30 some years in human flesh was plenty for Him.  I imagine He was glad to leave behind the skepticism and disdain in this sinful world.  He had left Heaven, and He was about to go back.  I can't understand this.  I have never even had a glimpse of Heaven.  If God sent me a postcard with just a little preview, I'd be anxious to leave this world too.  We have become so attached to the things of earth because that is all we know.  It is kind of like going on vacation for the first time somewhere.  I may see pictures or have heard stories about a particular place, but it does not replace actually visiting. 
     A few years back, my husband and I visited Hawaii to see a friend who lived there.  I had lived there as a girl.  The year before we had vacationed in California which had thoroughly impressed my husband.  I assured him, Hawaii would be way more impressive.  I tried to describe it, I showed him pictures, but none of that measured up to just how beautiful the islands are.  When we stepped off the plane, and drove from the airport, he finally understood what I was talking about.  He wants to go back (so do I).  No description I could give was enough to help him understand what Hawaii was like.  Words could not describe it well enough.  Don't you think Heaven is the same way?  We have so many passages in the Bible that talk about it, but our words can never describe such a perfect place.  We can't get on the internet and google search it so that we can view pictures.  Nobody has come back from there to tell us about their visit.  But Jesus had been there.  He had lived there up until He was born as a baby.  He knew what it was like.  How many times in His human life, had He thought about going back?  How many times had He wished His time here on earth was up so He could return to His Father and His home? He came here to accomplish a purpose, but in this chapter He refers many times to returning to "the glory which I had with thee before the world was."  The cross is going to be hard, but going home will be easy.
     I guess the reason the Wayne Watson song kept running through my head is because I really don't get just how great Heaven is.  And when God calls someone Home, they are finally going to get to see what I haven't seen yet.  They don't want to come back here.  Why Jesus ever left Heaven to begin with is only because of His incredible love for me.  Once I've been, I won't want to leave.  This is hard to grasp, because there is nowhere on earth that compares.  We joke about wanting to live someplace we've visited for the rest of our lives, but not even Hawaii is perfect.  Beautiful, yes.  Friendly people, yes.  Laid back, yes.  But it has its problems too.  I know this because I actually lived there for a while, it would be hard for my husband who only spent a week there to see this.  Heaven is perfect.  Heaven is ideal.  Heaven is paradise. 
     The chorus of the Wayne Watson song says: 
Home free, eventually.  At the ultimate healing, we will be home free.  Home free, its more than a feeling.  At the ultimate healing, we will be home free.
     Someday we will all be home free.  And we will never want to return to this earth.  We will fully realize what Jesus left for us when we arrive in Heaven.  We will then know, words were not enough to describe Christ's Home, that He left for a little while, for me.

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