While Thanksgiving Day has quickly come and gone, our hearts should be thankful always. I was skimming over the headlines of the newspaper the other day and one title in particular drew my eyes in quickly: “THANKFUL FOR…a future.” Hmm… It is such a short and simple thought but definitely one with a profound meaning. That statement forced me to pause and think: I could barely recall a time or two where I was thankful for something that was still to come. I don’t know about you, but it seems like it is easier to remember the reasons for our thankfulness when an event has already occurred or a kind word or gesture was already made. Please don’t misunderstand. I was eagerly anticipating my wedding day. And I was certainly excited about graduating from college. Was I thankful for each event? Not to say that I wasn’t, but I believe that the thrill, sprinkled with a mix of other emotions, in the final weeks and days before each occasion drowned any notion of thankfulness I may have even pondered. More often than not, when we reflect during times of thanksgiving, we remember past experiences well and seldom consider what lies ahead.
The photo and caption below the headline highlighted a woman, Summer Frost, who is thankful for her future home, currently undergoing construction by Habitat for Humanity. You can read her story here:
And then an epiphany followed: My future home in heaven. Ah yes, I am thankful for the place where the Lord has gone and is preparing for me (John 14:3).
This is the first time I am including a devotional from my husband’s NIV New Men’s Devotional Bible, but it parallels the thoughts that have been filling my mind recently, and of course, complements the essence of this holiday season.
Today’s Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:35 – 58
Recommended Reading: Ezekiel 48:1-35; John 17:1-24; Philippians 1:18-26
Nanci and I have spent some wonderful moments with our family and friends – at Christmas or on vacation or at simple times in the family room after dinner – and we’ve said those enchanting words: “It doesn’t get any better than this.”
No matter how difficult your life has been, you’ve said the same thing about some magnificent moment, haven’t you? Maybe it was recently. Maybe it was long ago. Maybe you can barely remember. “It doesn’t get any better than this.” Can you think of even one time in your life, when, even for a fleeting moment, that seemed to be true?
Well, it isn’t true.
The most ordinary moment on the New Earth will be greater than the most perfect moments in this life – those experiences you wanted to bottle or hang on to but couldn’t. It can get better, far better, than this – and it will. Life on the New Earth will be like sitting in front of the fire with family and friends, basking in the warmth, laughing uproariously, dreaming of the adventures to come – and then going out and living those adventures together. With no fear that life will ever end or that tragedy will descend like a dark cloud. With no fear that dreams will be shattered or relationships broken…
[H]ere’s what the apostle John recorded near the end of the Bible:
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth… And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’ He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ Then He said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true’” (Revelation 21:1, 3-5).
These are the words of King Jesus. Count on them. Take them to the bank. Live every day in light of them. Make every choice in light of Christ’s certain promise.
We were all made for a person and a place. Jesus is the person. Heaven is the place.
If you know Jesus, I’ll be with you in that resurrected world. With the Lord we love and with the friends we cherish, we’ll embark together on the ultimate adventure, in a spectacular new universe awaiting our exploration and dominion. Jesus will be the center of all things, and joy will be the air we breathe.
And right when we think “it doesn’t get any better than this” – it will.
– Randy Alcom
Like Summer Frost, I am thankful for my future home – my home in heaven.