Friday, October 12, 2012

IF HE'S NOT THERE, in Heaven?

If you went home to Heaven, and Jesus wasn’t there, would you still be happy?” My friend looks me square in the eyes as she asks this.

I think quickly. With all the peace, joy—no more sorrow or tears—and endless delights in a celestial paradise—would I be content without the presence of Christ?

My immediate response is a blustering, “No. Without Jesus, of course I wouldn’t be happy in Heaven.

But after taking time to actually think the question over, and not give the automated, expected response, I realize I would be happy in Heaven without Jesus. Who wouldn’t be happy with all pain removed? It would certainly be a lot better than here on earth as it is right now.

Like everyone else walking this planet, I can look back on a lifetime of disappointments and heartaches. That's one of the benefits of living in the second half of my life. I can look back to all those difficult times and remember them at their bleakest.

But only by looking back, I can also see that God's presence was there. A sort of a spiritual trick of the light.

During those hard times His presence felt like a slim beam of light. Or He gave me just a smidgeon of strength to help me make it through to the next day. Somehow that strength was there for the day after that, and the day after . . .

At times all He gave me was the simple reminder that His word is true, and in it He says He loves me.

By looking back to those worst of times, and adding up all those seemingly small joys of His comfort, it dawns on me, how much I enjoyed His presence.

How much more joyful will Heaven be with His Presence?

Romans 8:18 “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”


ramblin'andie said...

Wow. I wanted to blog on our conversation topic too. But you've captured it beautifully.

Congratulations again on your win.

Jane said...

I too have a half-finished, saved-but-not-published post about our evening together. I think I'll just delete it and send my readers (all 4 of them) over here. You done captured the essence of our relationship perfectly.

So, so, so very proud of your win.
It's only a matter of time and we'll be celebrating your book launch.

Rachel said...

Wonderful entry, Christine. Beautifully written, and I can't say how much it resonated with me.

Christine said...

I must say I felt a bit sheepish with my tiny little faith when I didn't expect anything good from the Lord, lately. The dry times are so hard to go through. And then He just goes and does something amazing that takes your breath away. He's such a good Father--He doesn't spoil us rotten with presents all the time, but He sure knows how to brighten our eyes on a frequent basis

Marlene said...

This is also a topic we have been discussing at length - waiting on God for answered prayer - the growing is in the waiting - but that doesn't make it any easier! Thank you for sharing your gift with us - your words reflect what has been on my heart.

Kathleen L. said...

Congratulations,Christine! We haven't "met" online yet, but I saw your post on ACFW and had to check out your blog (its lovely) and send my congrats. I entered the Genesis in the historical category for the very first time this year, and I learned so much. It was a wonderful experience, and I have an all-new appreciation for how difficult it is to achieve what you have. May your contract be swift to follow! Many blessings,
Kathleen L Maher

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Congratulations on your win, Christine! God surely does answer our prayers abundantly.

This post on being happy in Heaven without Jesus really got my cogs going. With the whole trinity in mind, my automatic response would be "yes", though I'm certain Jesus is there. Heaven is heaven, something I could never envision with all its greatness and pureness, and so God in His infinite power makes it perfect! How He plans for me to be greeted in Heaven will be perfect if He so calls me there!

Peggy Griffin said...

Though we're hundreds of miles apart, God has sent you to be the friend by my side. Who else would put up with my hissie fits?

Love you,

Elaine Stock said...

Very reflective and insightful, Christine. Whereas I believe Heaven is Heaven because Christ will be there (as He is parallel with us right now), it is comforting to know of a place with no tears. Interesting thoughts you also shared about this second half of your life--instead of feeling like I'm in a decline in years I've been feeling like I've had my life recharged by the powerful blessings in life, like friendships as yours.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your latest award. I'd better get busy and read your book before the next one comes out! I have it on the table next to my chair, waiting for some quality reading time--probably once the weather changes and I'd rather be inside than out. :)