At first there was just the hazy glow of dawn, the almost imperceptible lightening around me, colors beginning to swirl in the distance. I kept walking, and as I crested the hill, the sun suddenly broke over the horizon and its brilliant shafts shone their warm fingers through the trees. I was struck for a moment, gazing at God’s glory: The beauty of light all around me, bright and warm and sweet.
The sun was not here on the path I was walking nor even in the swaying branches of the trees. It was not beyond the hills or over in the next town. If I walked for the rest of my life, I still wouldn’t be able to reach it. It was there past the horizon, 53 million miles from Earth.
And yet, I was still warmed, still touched, by its rays.
I realized it was a reminder of heaven.
Heaven is not here. Here things break. Here, people get sick and die. Here, families are broken. Here, friendships are torn. Sometimes (many times), life on earth hurts. But heaven is not here – it is there, over the horizon of life, reunited with our Creator (Revelation 21:1-4).
And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. ~ Romans 8:23-25
And though we long for that hope to be fulfilled, even here on earth, we are still warmed by the Son, touched by His love, His mercy, His blessing, His grace:
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
If we cling to that hope – His hope – we will be warmed with the light and love of the Son even though we’re not “there” yet.