Building a Home

My next door neighbors are renovating a larger home at the end of our street. They have three kids and both sets of grandparents live out of town. They love the house they live in now, but it is not big enough to accommodate their family’s needs. Their address is still next door, but their focus, their plans, and their future is now is at the end of our street. They live in one place, but they are building a new life somewhere else.

One Sunday after church I took a refugee family in our church home to their apartment. The 20 year old son had been born in a refugee camp. He had never known life outside that camp until he moved to my city. When his family learned that they would be relocated to America, he immediately set about learning the language, culture, economy and history of America. He knew they were going to leave that camp eventually, and he wanted to be prepared for where he was going.

This earth, our temporary home, is an incredible place with indescribable beauty. Our lives here can bring us delight and joy and fulfillment. But it was always meant to be temporary. Heaven is not just a place; God also wants it to be your heart’s desire. Heaven isn’t just your future home; it’s your current home; you just don’t live there yet. The pleasures of this world can be good and can serve as a foretaste of heaven. God himself has prepared a home for all of eternity there for you. Let this understanding embed itself in your understanding and expectation of heaven. The same God who carved out the sea and formed the mountains and spread out the sky is designing a new city for you to live in. The architect of that city will be the same one who created Mt. Everest, the Sahara, Niagra, the rainforest and the tropical island. The same hands that formed rocky cliffs, dragonfly wings, clouds, tree bark, precious stones and flower petals will build that city for you. The same God who designed all the colors in the rainbow will be the interior designer of your new mansion. The same God who put delight in the heart of a child, playfulness in the mind of a monkey, grace in the fins of a fish, power in the bulk of an elephant, and speed in the limbs of a cheetah is designing a new body for you. The same God who put music in Mozart’s head, a song in Pavorotti’s throat, put color on Monet’s brush, put a story in Shakespeare’s pen, the one who taught David and Barishnikov and Astair to dance – that God will equip you to praise him perfectly.

Most of us spend way more time and effort planning for our next vacation or our retirement than we do for our eternity. Our view of God and heaven is often so small that it allows us to get lost in and disappointed by the mundane of this life and miss the delight of understanding what God has planned. My neighbors are making plans and decisions and investments based on where they are going to live. May we do likewise as we plan for the new home God has prepared for us.

John 14:1-3 Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. My house has
plenty of room; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to
prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back
and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.