It’s now, surprisingly, the end of February. A long time ago, sometime in 2014, I remember celebrating Christmas and New Year with my brothers and sisters, mom and dad. We saw a movie in Bend and went out for breakfast at a vintage café the morning after before parting ways. Since then I’ve been swimming in a fog, trying to lift myself out of a lonely malaise.
I miss my family. I’m lucky to share the day with my wife Christie, but sharing the holidays with my family creates such rich experiences that in the subsequent days and weeks I’ve sputtered in a hiccoughing spasm, like the misfiring engine in an old Model T. I’m craving another break.
I don’t mean a day where I get to watch the Lord of the Rings trilogy in succession, or hit two large buckets of golf balls on the range in balmy weather. What I’m talking about is a holiday. A vacation. A time with friends and family. One that lasts on and on, into the horizon.
I’m craving heaven. To worship Jesus. To glorify Him. To bend my knee before Him and confess that He is Lord. Just to have that day. Just to be totally free in that moment. To understand, fully, how forgiven I am. I’m craving the time when all of us will be in perfect union, free from pain or fear or doubt, throwing a party to begin all parties.
I’m weak. My eyes burn. I have a headache. I’m tired. When will that day come? How beautiful will heaven be? How beautiful is our life with Him now, this engagement period where the marriage of Jesus to his body is promised, not yet completely fulfilled?
My wife and I went into Fred Meyer earlier today. We walked around. I noticed the strangers. I don’t know anything about them. In our big city where we live, there are too many strangers. It’s very hard, I suppose, to throw a proper party with a stranger.
No, you throw a party and invite the people whom you know, who know you, because they’re friends and you love them, and they love you. Those friends, you think to yourself, are the kinds of people whom you would want to spend a few more days knowing, if you had the chance.
I think that’s what heaven is like. Fresh mornings, hand-in-hand. All of us experiencing just how lucky we are, spending our eternity getting to know each other in a deepening intimacy. I’m craving that holiday.
It is on days like this one where the hope of being in heaven with Jesus comes home even more, hits me right in the heart, spreads through my soul, soaks into my spirit. I’m reminded of how difficult it is to endure in our broken world. But also, on this day, I am strengthened in my hope. I never thought I could go this far.
“And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.” ~ Romans 5:5