I have heard stories of immigrants who would talk about America and the streets of gold. All of the glory and splendor that it represented to the people had a way of manifesting itself in images that just were not real. I wonder if people felt disappointed when they got there or if they held on to the memory of how bad it was before they got there.
Don’t we have a tendency to do that with Heaven?
How many times have you seen the light and airy clouds that represented Heaven. The gates, either golden or pearly, with angels or old saints standing at the entrance checking to see if you were on the “list” to get in. You have movies were the person wasn’t supposed to die, but a mistake was made and they were taken early only to be returned into another body. Many movies were the person gets to go back and redeem their life through good works. Each religion has a different take on heaven as well and they don’t all line up in agreement.
So many different images of what heaven is and what happens, do we even really know what is there?
What is heaven really like? Personally, I can’t imagine it. I have tried, but I never seem able to get an image of it. I have heard people talk about how much better out life will be there and we will still be able to do what we enjoyed doing in our physical bodies, but I don’t see any references to that. Is that just a desire of the flesh that we hold on to? Maybe. What about the mansions in heaven? Jesus was going back to prepare a place for us in His father’s house. In Jewish custom, when the son got married, he would build a room for him and his wife on top of his father’s house. Not quite the image that Western’s have of huge palatial mansions in heaven. Why would we need all of that room in heaven anyway?
When Daniel or John spoke of Heaven, we got images of people /angels, some furniture pieces and documents, but no real description of Heaven. The focus is always on God and the throne. The glory and the majesty that is there. Along those lines, you don’t get a real good picture of what God looks like either. Jesus with bronze skin and wearing various garments, but it isn’t about His appearance as much as His splendor. Nothing that really tells me what heaven is really like.
It used to bother me. I would pray for insight and the ability to at least imagine God on His throne, but to no avail. Now I am thankful that He didn’t give me what I had asked for. Heaven is about God. It is a world to come. With salvation, I know I am with Him and that is what matters. Not where it is nor what it will be like. He is with me now and I am charged to be focused on Him in whatever moment I am in. It is so much better than I could ever imagine.