The Best Things on Earth

Favorites are subjective. Mine and yours aren’t necessarily the same. What would you add to my list??

To eat – chocolate, cheese (not goat!), fresh strawberries, tomatoes, banana pudding, a perfectly cooked steak, nearly anything Mexican or Italian

To see – the faces of my family and friends, my home, a warm smile, a sunset, a puppy, an approaching thunderstorm, open spaces like the Grand Canyon or west Texas, cool colors, gardens with multicolored blooms

To hear – happy birds in the morning, the laughter of a child, classical music, rain on a tin roof, incredible vocal harmony, utter silence during a snowstorm, waves washing into the shore, a voice I’ve missed on the other end of my phone

To smell – fresh coffee brewing, bread baking, fresh cut grass, the ocean, Oscar perfume, gardenias, outside after a spring rain, most any dinner I don’t have to cook 🙂

To touch – my dog’s fur, a baby’s skin, silk, a hug from a friend, cold on my cheeks on an early Autumn morning, the feel of sun warming my skin, a breeze in my hair

The best things of earth, our very favorite things, will bring us temporary delight. God commanded that his people build him a Tabernacle and the Temple so that he could dwell with them here on earth. Both of those were temporary, but they were built with the finest components available to man. What God created in Eden was perfect, but also temporary. One day our lives on this earth as we now know it will end, and we will enter heaven, designed and built by God himself. I suspect that we will find the very best things of earth there, along with some surprises that we can’t even imagine now that will fill us with exuberant delight and deep peace.

In his book Heaven Randy Alcorn imagines that the best things of earth will be in heaven…
“So look out a window. Take a walk. Talk with your friend. Use your God-given skills to paint or draw or build a shed or write a book. But imagine it – all of it – in its original condition. The happy dog with the wagging tail, not the snarling beast, beaten and starved. The flowers unwilted, the grass undying, the blue sky without pollution. People smiling and joyful, not angry, depressed and empty. If you’re not in a particularly beautiful place, close your eyes and envision the most beautiful place you’ve ever been – complete with palm trees, raging rivers, jagged mountains, waterfalls, or snow drifts. Think of friends or family members who loved Jesus and are with him now. Picture them with you, walking together in this place. All of you have powerful bodies, talking, and reminiscing. You reach up to a tree to pick an apple or orange. You take a bite. It’s so sweet that it’s startling. You’ve never tasted anything so good. Now you see someone coming toward you. It’s Jesus, with a big smile on his face. You fall to your knees in worship. He pulls you up and embraces you. At last, you’re with the person you were made for, in the place you were made to be. Everywhere you go there will be new people and places to enjoy, new things to discover. What’s that you smell? A feast. A party’s ahead. And you’re invited. There’s exploration and work to be done – and you can’t wait to get started. I (Alcorn) have a biblical basis for all of these statements, and many more. After examining what Scripture says, I hope that next time you hear someone say, “We can’t begin to imagine what Heaven will be like, “ you’ll be able to tell them, “I can.”

God talks a lot about heaven in the Bible because he wants us to desire what he has planned for us. Studying God’s word and knowing his heart is the opposite of how things usually work here on earth. Here when you eat, you get full. But when you are fed by God’s word, it makes you hungrier for more. Ps 90:12 says, “Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Ask God for enough of a glimpse of heaven to make you hungrier for his presence. It is the desire of his heart to dwell with his children.