June 5, 2017/Dying to go to Heaven

As much as I would like to admit my joy at the idea of dying to be with Jesus,  I’m afraid that I’m human enough to say that I still don’t want to go yet.

When I was younger, I would sit in the pews and listen to some pastor rant about how wonderful it would be to be with Jesus. I can handle that. The idea of being with my Savior and having no more pain, suffering, disappointments, hardships, worries, etc. seems wonderful. I’d like to “walk with him, talk with him, and have Him tell me that I am His own,” as the song ‘In the Garden’ goes. It is a beautiful promise. There are questions I would ask Him. I think that most of all, I’d like to simply be able to have Him embrace me; to hear Him say that He knows I did my best; to comfort me that the burdens that I carried here on earth WERE worthwhile.

But, unlike the pastor or some others who quickly jump on the ‘heavenly bandwagon’ I’m afraid that I’m more human than divine.

I want to go…just not yet.

It is always awkward to know what to say to people who have lost a loved one. They are losing a part of their support group here on earth whether it is a family member, neighbor, friend, fellow worker, or stranger. If we believe that every life has purpose (and we must if we claim Christ, for why else would Jesus have come to offer atonement?) then the loss of each life must grieve our Heavenly Father as much as the gift of life must bring Him joy.

Revelation 21:4-And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

1 Corinthians 2: 9-But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

Heaven. Paradise. This resting place with God is, for Christians, our ultimate utopia.

So why am I torn about leaving earth? I should be filled with joy at heading toward my heavenly home.

I used to get pretty uptight about why I wasn’t feeling ‘in touch’ with the idea of leaving this world…until I realized that while others may be convicted to openly proclaim their willingness to be with Jesus all the time, maybe my selfish attitude of not being ready to let go of being was just as ‘real’.

While my life here on earth isn’t easy, I am surrounded by my family who I love and don’t want to leave. It’s selfish. It’s human. It’s real…at least, it is to me. To proclaim otherwise must come from a maturity that I’m still struggling to find. I understand this sentiment of ‘wanting to be with Jesus’–but to wholeheartedly admit to it at this moment of time would be a lie…for there is a part of me that doesn’t want to leave yet.

God’s timing is perfect.

Only God knows when I will draw my last breath. This factor comforts me through my trials and sorrows. There are times in my life when I lost hope and wanted to leave earth just as there are times when life on earth fills me with the joy of loving and thankfulness for being here.

I’m a mixed bag of contradictions. I’m a person at war with physical and spiritual every day. One moment I want to give up and give in. The next I want to stand on principle and battle onward.

Dear God, You don’t make it easy on your creatures, do You?

As Christians, our earthly walk has been refined so that we give credence to being part of God’s purpose. It is evangelical in that we may proclaim the love of Jesus to those we meet through word and deed. Our very existence in this world after we accept Jesus as our personal Savior makes us different from others. Yet, as humans walking here on earth we are as sinful as we are evangelical. In short, Christians spend each moment of life living ‘at odds’.

While it is wonderful to think about our final resting place in heaven, we must not forget that our earthly journey has meaning, too. We are here on earth to bring hope to those who have not yet received that assurance. God has given us each certain ‘work’ that only we can do. As we are each unique, so then, is our purpose for living.

Unlike those who find deeds, or strict ‘laws’ which must not be broken, as their passport into another realm, those who believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior realize that nothing we have done can be enough to gain us an entrance. It is simply His grace that provides us the way…therefore, we count our life here on earth as a testament to our faith in Him.

I look forward to seeing Jesus. You might even say that I’m dying to go to heaven. But this death is not a physical one. I’m in hopes of  ‘dying’ a little bit more to earthly things on my way to maturing my spiritual side…

That’s a tough job.  I’m slogging along slowly. And while I see all the glory waiting for me,  I’m pretty sure that  God wants me to concentrate more on crawling onward than the final destination…at least for today.

 

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