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"We There Yet?"
Anticipating Our Heavenly Home
All of us who have travelled with children know that if we are on the road for any length of time with them, the inevitable question comes out of their mouth: "Are we there yet?" Sometimes they get so impatient that they leave out the verb and just say "We there yet?"
I. Trips Can Be Tedious and Long
In many ways, I'm not sure I can blame children. Trips get tedious, long and boring; especially if you've been travelling for a while. And everyone looks forward to getting to the destination. It could be that we are travelling to a vacation that we've been looking forward to for weeks. Or maybe it's a trip to see a friend that we haven't talked with face to face in years. There is much to look forward to, and the only things between us and the anticipated destination are the long hours, and the many, many miles of travel.
Sometimes, after we've grown up and moved away from home, it get's to the point when we've been gone for so long that we grow homesick. We remember the good times that we had as children. There were so many memories of brothers and sisters and of friends. It was at home that we met our first love. Home is where we had our first date. And we remember the first time we held hands, or had that first awkward kiss. At one time, it was the only part of the world that we knew. It was that innocent time of our youth. We thought life would continue like that forever. Now it seems more like a distant memory, and we just want to recapture it, if only for a fleeting moment, or a short weekend. And we, like impetuous children, find ourselves anxiously asking: "We there yet?"
II. Our Journey to Heaven Can Be Tedious and Long
I don't know about you, but sometimes I anticipate heaven in the way I anticipate the end of a long road trip. Life gets tedious and long and problems can get overwhelming. There are obligations, and long hours at jobs. And there are financial and family crises. We have health problems, and at some point in our lives it seems that every year we lose another loved one to death. At one point we feel like yelling: "Lord please come soon!" It is then that we should remember the promises of Jesus Himself.
III. Our Destination is Worth the Wait
Some days we find ourselves asking: "How long, O Lord! Are we there yet? Is today the day that you'll come back and take us home to be with you?" And when our anticipation gets overwhelming and the journey gets a little too rough, we can go back to the words of Jesus. He tells us:
"Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also." (John 14:1-3).
And He reminds us that:
These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).
It is when we read things like this that we are reminded that, though the journey be long and a bit overwhelming, we can lean on Him for strength to make it through. And we're reminded that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us" (Romans 8:18).
It is wonderful to know that no matter what we may be going through in this life, there is much to anticipate in heaven. We aren't home yet and no matter how long it may seem, eternity with Jesus Christ will make our time here on this earth look like a single blink of an eye. My advice for all who read this piece is, the next time you feel like life is just getting you down; remember the final words of our Lord Jesus Christ in Revelation 21:20. "Yes, I am coming quickly!" And imagine yourself answering: "Even so, come Lord Jesus! I will wait for you to arrive. For the destination that you have prepared for me, is surely worth the journey!"
© 2012 Jeff Shirley