One of the most memorable conversations with my oldest son, Ethan, came 2 years ago when we were talking about doctors and EMT’s sometimes being able to bring back patients that had flat lined with electric paddles. Ethan was stunned that someone could be “brought back from the dead.” After a moment of silence in the car he finally said, “Dad, if my heart ever stops please don’t let the doctors shock my heart.” I immediately asked, “Why?” He quietly replied, “Because when I go to heaven it’s going to be some awesome and I don’t want to have to come back here.”
I was dumbstruck. My 7-year-old had his heart set on heaven. He wanted there more than here.
Sadly, that longing for heaven for many melts like wax under the burning busyness and distractions of this life. Heaven becomes something we think about at funerals or when it comes up in a sermon. Even though scripture describes us as aliens passing through a foreign land in this life, our hearts and minds have made “here” home. It’s not.
Listen to this wonderful, God pleasing tension in the Apostle Paul’s voice as he writes about this life and the one to come:
22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24 but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. (Phil. 1:22-24)
Paul models for us this “torn” emotion…..stretched between fruitful labor here and departing to be with Christ. Today, I’m praying that we’ll move our hearts into this “torn” place, eager not for the many distractions we fall into here, but eager to lay our life down for Jesus and longing to be with him forever at the same time.
Spend some time praying through this passage. Close your eyes and think about being with Jesus face to face……….enjoy.
Praying with you.