Posts Tagged ‘heaven’

Anticipation

One of my favorite family activities as a child was when we loaded the car and drove to Chautauqua Lake, just over into New York state.  My dad belonged to a club there on the lake.  We’d meet friends and spend a carefree day fishing, picnicking, and just having fun.   I loved the smell of the water, the whzzzz of a line being cast, the tug of a nibble as I watched the bobber float in the lake.  Nightcrawlers and minnows were my friends.  I often made the first catch, even as a young girl. 

The trip to the lake seemed to take forever, but it was less than an hour from home.  I remember a spot on the way, at the crest of a hill, where we could catch a glimpse of the sparkling water shimmering in the distance.  “There it is!” we’d cry.  “We’re almost there.”  We were still a number of miles away, but catching a brief glimpse of the lake ahead made the trip more bearable.

The Bible promises believers a home in heaven some day.  As followers of Jesus, the journey often seems endless, especially when we’re going through difficult days.  But every once in a while, God blesses us with a brief glimpse of the prize ahead.  We may hear or read about someone’s near-death experience, and their vision of heaven.  We may be privileged to be with a godly loved-one who is crossing over, and hear them talk about the departed family members who are welcoming them home. 

God gave John a glimpse of heaven, which he recorded in the book of Revelation.  His testimony serves as encouragement to Christians of every generation.  In it, he describes the city of God, the New Jerusalem:  “The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.  The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. . . . Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city.  On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month.  And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.  No longer will there be any curse. . . . There will be no more night. ” Revelation 21:23-25; 22:1-3a, 5a (NIV)

No night, no darkness, no pain, no sorrow, no suffering, no disease, no curse, no sin.  Only the light of God’s glory.  Be encouraged, dear ones.  It won’t be long now.  Look ahead.  It’s just over the next hill.

Copyright 2012 – Mary Egidio   — Permission is granted to share this post, but only with attribution, and not for commercial purposes.

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Finding Your Name

A couple of years ago, we planned a trip to our home state to visit family.  My adult children, with extra time off work, decided to drive it together, while my husband and I flew in later.  They took a side trip to the town where they grew up, where their dad had been the pastor of his  first church.  Since they hadn’t been back in many years, they experienced that shock of everything seeming different and smaller than they’d remembered.

Visiting our former church, they crawled under the front row pew, much to the astonishment of the current pastor’s children, I’m sure.  But that’s where they spent many a warm Sunday evening, filling their coloring books or pretending to be the Apollo 13 astronauts on their backs in the command module.  (Hey, they were quiet, okay?  Besides, I’m sure they were listening.)  And as these twenty-somethings lay there on their backs, they saw it.  There, underneath the wooden pew, spelled out in silver crayon, was ELIZABETH.  My daughter’s name.

Next door was the old parsonage (emphasis on old) which had since been converted to a fellowship hall.  What they had remembered as a huge front porch, towering over the lawn, had shrunk to just a small stoop.  After all, Bubba was seven years old when we left there.  On this visit, he was over six feet tall.

Inside, the rooms still echoed with memories of childhood days.  And in the attic playroom, still attached to the wall, they found a painting, a simple watercolor, the work of a young student.  Across the bottom, spelled out in blue paint, was BENJAMIN.  My son’s name.

Finding their names still intact, in this place of their childhood, was like a historic archeological discovery.  It somehow validated the fact that those children really did exist back there in that place and time.  They’ve since traded their names for Lizz and Ben, and traveled hundreds of miles away and lived thousands of hours.  But on that day, the clock turned back, and they were home again.  They were still remembered.  Their names were written there.

The Bible refers to names being written… the book of  Daniel talks about a time of distress, from which ‘everyone whose name is found written in the book will be delivered.’ (Daniel 12:1b)  In Luke 10:20, Jesus told his disciples to ‘rejoice that your names are written in heaven.’   Paul refers to fellow workers in Philippians 4:3, ‘whose names are written in the book of life.’   The writer of Hebrews talks about a great assembly in the new Jerusalem, including ‘those whose names are written in heaven.’  (Hebrews 12:23)  Revelation describes the New Jerusalem, where ‘nothing impure will ever enter it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.’ (Rev. 21:27)

I’m not sure I can ever understand what it all means.  How I can ever be worthy to have my name written in heaven?  That discussion is for theologians.  I just know it will be an amazing discovery to find my name there, along with the names of those I love.  I hope you find yours, too.   Then we’ll know we’re finally home.

Copyright 2010 Mary E. Egidio — permission is granted to copy this post, but with attribution, and not for commercial purposes.  (you can share it, but please tell who wrote it and where you found it, and don’t sell it!)