We don’t know much about heaven. Do we go to heaven right away or do we sleep until Jesus returns in glory? What will we do for the rest of time in our heavenly home? Won’t it get a little boring just sitting around on the clouds? Will we fish or garden or (one of my burning questions) play golf in heaven? The Bible doesn’t give us very many clear details on this topic. So apparently God doesn’t want us to focus on the next life but to live in this life with the hope of heaven.
The hope of heaven makes all the difference in how we live. We are able to hold on to the things of this world lightly because we know that this world is not our home. We are free to take more risks. We are able to become vulnerable in loving others. We don’t need to fear getting old or the journey toward death. We can even give up our lives for the cause of Jesus Christ. That’s because for those of us who belong to Jesus the end of our story has already been written. We know that heaven is our destiny. We also know that none of us gets to heaven by being good enough. We get there only because Jesus Christ has prepared a place for us.
Heaven proclaims that the end of your story is already written. By the grace of God, it ends wonderfully. There is nothing that you can do to make it end any better. Jesus Christ in His death and resurrection has already written the end of your story. Our faith tells us that heaven is our true home and even though we don’t know much about heaven we do know that it is better by far than this life.
A pastor was visiting a member of his church who was dying of cancer. She had been given only three months to live. They were discussing her desires
for her funeral.
She told him what songs she wanted sung and what scriptures she wanted read, and what dress she wanted to be buried in. She also requested that she be buried with her favorite Bible in her left hand. And then she made a most unusual request. She told her pastor that she wanted to be buried with a fork in her right hand. She went on to explain to her puzzled pastor the reason for this request.
“You see Pastor, in all my years of attending church socials and potluck dinners, I remember that when the dishes were being cleared after the main course, someone would inevitably lean over to me and say, “keep your fork.” It was my favorite part because I knew that something better was coming, like velvety chocolate cake or deep-dish apple pie. Something wonderful and with substance to end the great meal. So I just want people to see me there in the casket with a fork in my hand, and I want them
to wonder… then I want you to tell them: “keep your fork … the best is yet to come.”
Heaven will be a paradise—with no more tears, no more sorrow, no more pain, no more anger or bitterness or jealousy. There is only joy and peace and love. What we will do there is unimportant. All we need to know is that it well be better by far than anything we have experienced in this world.
And what a difference our hope of heaven makes for our living today! Because we know the ending is already written and nothing we do will change that ending, we can live this life with new freedom and courage and abandonment. We are free to enjoy the mystery of today without worrying about where it is heading. Jesus has completed our story and waits for us in heaven. So live each day to its fullest and rest assured—the best is yet to come.
Grace and Peace,