Looking ahead to a place called heaven

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A few weeks ago, I mentioned “seeing beyond the near horizon.” My husband’s serious spine surgery was imminent. We were trying to keep an upbeat spirit by looking past the operation to the good it would accomplish.

Later I got to thinking — what happens when there’s just more trouble beyond the near horizon. Our brother-in-law has Parkinson’s — a degenerative disease that has no cure. A neighbor has inoperable cancer. Microcosms of suffering multiplied everywhere.

God has set a hope before humankind. The ultimate horizon when earthly ones run out — the hope of heaven. While there are many “afterlife” depictions, the one I trust to be true is the one Jesus speaks of. He says, “I know where I came from and where I am going.” To the thief who was crucified alongside Him, the one who asked Him for mercy, He said, “Today you shall be with Me in paradise.”

While the impression of Heaven is somewhere “up” it is surprising to read that eventually the old worn-out earth with all its flaws will be replaced — an entirely new creation — and God will dwell among men, people from every land. They will not need “the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun” because His presence “will illumine them.”

God will “wipe every tear from their eyes … and there will no longer be any death … any mourning, or crying, or pain.”

There is a river of life with water as “clear as crystal.” And a tree of life whose leaves are for “the healing of the nations.”

People will have purposeful work. There will be feasting and laughter, creativity and music, friendship and animals, every good thing.

Jesus said to Martha, “… everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die.” If I am going to live on what could be more magnificent than the beautiful horizon God has promised. A place where I am welcomed. Where I am known. Where I am loved.

A place called heaven, a place called home.

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