I’ve always struggled with death; I find it hard to understand and comprehend. However, more recently I have begun to struggle with what happens after death. It’s not something I have looked into particularly, and one day I will sit down and study what the Bible says. However, one thing I have managed to grasp is the idea that ‘God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only son, so that anyone who believes in Him, will have eternal life’ (John 3:16) and I know that, that eternal life is with God, and with God there is no hurt, and no hatred, for ‘He will wipe every tear from [our] eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain.’ (Revelation 21:4)
However, at greenbelt 2011, these ideas were taken further, I had this revelation that in fact, I don’t belong here, my place is with God, and this idea of heaven being our true and eternal home was shown to me. Jesus says, ‘In my Father's house are many rooms…I am going there to prepare a place for you.’ (John 14:2) I don’t know what you imagine from the verse, but I see the King of Kings, stepping down from His thrown, to prepare a room, as a servant does, dusting the cobwebs away, and refreshing everything, making all things new.
We are told, ‘Do not love the world or anything in the world.’ (1 John 2:15) and ‘Don't copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person.’ (Romans 12:2) for, as Christians ‘[we] do not belong to the world’ (John 15:19). This does not mean we should not love the world, for God made it, and He loves it, but it means we need to learn from God how to act, what to say and the things to do, and not from the world. However it does mean that it makes sense if we do not feel at home here. For many people it is impossible to feel at home on this earth, for there are many people who are starving, who are thirsty, who are abused, who cannot live, who do not feel loved, who are penalised, who are discriminated, who are marginalised. Our home is not on earth, but in God.
Our home is not on earth, but in God. This is where I went wrong, I fell into a trap and a lie, that until I die I will never feel at home. I have since realised that actually God does not want us to have to wait until we die to feel at home, for He loves us. I don’t think that on earth we will ever feel completely at home, because there is so much sin, and rubbish in the world to separate us from being truly in God, but we can find a home and a resting place in Him, for He is our friend, our shepherd and our comforter, He cares about us and looks after us. He gives us a home in Him. Our ultimate home is with God in eternal life, but my home is in God now too, my life is now and God will always have His arms open wide, welcoming in any lost children who wander His way.
I have a postcard that I got from greenbelt, yesterday I took out a drawer from a chest of drawers because one of my books had disappeared inside, inside I saw the postcard. It was there in the dark and the dirt. I realised that this is where my dreams of home had been, they had been left in the dark and the dirt; I had left them there because I thought I had to wait for these dreams to be realised; I realise now that these dreams are full of hope for the now, these dreams can be realised in the love of God. I can find a home in Him now.
|'It was there in the dark and the dirt.'|
I know many people with children, but one mother told me recently of how she and her husband always wipe their children’s tears away, each time one of them cries. They cannot take away all the pain and hurt, but they can physically wipe the tears from their children’s faces. This is a beautiful image of how we can start to show the Father’s love now, here on the earth, in physical acts of wiping pain away, and showing love, and building each other up.
Dreams of home; my dreams of home are being realised now, in God, as He astounds me with glimpses of His love, and shows me His hope-filled plans for my life. But I still dream of a better home, with the new heaven and new earth, where all tears will cease and there will be no more barriers between me and God. My dreams of home are full of hope: hope for the now, and hope for the future.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Revelation 21:1
|'My dreams of home are full of hope: hope for the now, and hope for the future.'|