Pilgrims and Strangers Part 1
As a believer I talk about Heaven as my home. It is where I will go when I shed my human body, when my time is up, when God is finished with me here on earth and hopefully when I complete the mission that God has given me.
When I was young I knew absolutely nothing about Heaven. It wasn’t part of my upbringing. When I came to Jesus I learned that Heaven was indeed my home and when the time comes I will return.
Still being young in age and young in spirit Heaven was the furthest thing on my mind. There was too much living to do here on earth. Besides Heaven was for those old people whose life was lived and it was time for them to move on.
And it was also for those who for reasons only God knew, left this earth, sometimes too early to comprehend, and those close to them not really understanding why.
So what does Heaven really mean to me? How much do I know about the place I will call home for eternity?
To be completely and brutally honest I know next to nothing about Heaven. At least not on a personal level.
Let me explain.
Heaven is relative to me, in other words it is something that only I can perceive to be real or unreal.
As the old saying goes, there is no argument when it comes to taste. Who is any one else to tell me what I like or dislike when it comes to food. Only I know what tastes good to me.
So who is anyone to tell me that Heaven is not real when I know it is to me. No one can physically or scientifically persuade me to the contrary because it is a matter of faith. Just the same as I can convince no one that is real because I can’t have faith for someone else. Plus I have never been there to claim its validity.
“Faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen.”Hebrews 11:1 (KJV)
To believe in Heaven takes faith because there is no other way to authenticate its existence.
I believe it and that good enough for me.
End of argument.
I certainly don’t believe in Heaven because of any physical evidence. There is none. Yes, there are (apparently) thousands of recorded near death experiences of those who have claimed to gone to Heaven and lived to tell their story.
I have no reason to disbelieve their accounts but what does it really mean to me?
Heaven is one of those subjects that is personal. You either believe in it or you don’t. I certainly don’t believe in heaven because of the account of someone who says they have been.
I think one of the reasons for this is because the human language doesn’t do the subject justice.
If you have never been sky diving, like myself, all the photos, videos or personal tales told of its incredible rush or feelings means nothing to the person who has never jumped out of a plane. The only way I can understand the rush and feeling is to do it myself. Its personal.
(For the record, no, I will not)
Yes, there is John the Apostle on the Isle of Patmos who had the blessing of seeing the heavenly city and tries to make it as real as possible in his description. I think John would be the first to admit that human words just can’t do the subject justice.
The point I am trying to make is this. Although I believe that when I die I will go to heaven, how important is it really that I know what heaven is like?
None really, not from where I sit.
Through out my christian life there has been struggle and at my age I think I can safely say that struggle will always be there until I die.
Perhaps we are meant to have that struggle in our lives so that we have to keep telling ourselves that this place called earth is not our home. That we are just passing through, we are strangers and pilgrims on this earth and we seek a better place. We will never be completely content here.
Our struggle keeps us moving forward (or it should) and to be a constant reminder that we are not to settle down and call this earth our home.
Our home is heaven. Maybe there is a reason most of us don’t know too much about it. Maybe we don’t have too, maybe its one of those mysteries of God that He keeps as a surprise for us when we do finally get to go.
I don’t know but it puts being a stranger and pilgrim on this earth in better perspective.
As for now?
Heaven can wait. But Lord I am on my way.