My sons and I seem to have the best conversations on our drives to church. We also seem to have the best arguments.
On this particular Wednesday, as we pass the cemetery, my three year old asks, “Mommy, why do they bury the bodies there?”
“Well Buddy, when people die we put the bodies under the ground. And then put a rock there to remember the person.”
How’s that for matter-of-fact and to the point?
Since these words seem cold and lacking life, I continue.
“But, if they believed Jesus and followed him, then the person’s soul can go to Heaven. There we all get new bodies. Perfect bodies.”
With sadness in his voice he replies, “But I don’t want to go to Heaven.”
These words hit a mom’s heart. I want my sons to spend eternity in Heaven. I want my sons to spend their days on earth walking with Jesus. I want them to desire Heaven.
But I get it. From a three year old’s perspective, Heaven is not on his list of future travel destinations. He just wishes to go to the new park up the road or to the beach for summer vacation with the family.
The obscurity of heaven scares my little one. Heaven scared me when I was younger. Questions about whom I would see there, what would we do, and would my mom still be my mom swirled in my mind.
In the shooting from the hip parenting moment, I attempt to reassure the little one he will want to go to heaven. I tell him the more he learns about God and his goodness the more he will long to go to heaven.
Then I think on my own words.
Are they true?
Do I desire heaven? Or do I desire the things of this Earth more?
“For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.” Hebrews 13:14 (NLT)
Am I looking forward to my real home?
I suppose it depends on the day.
Some days, when life goes well I do not yearn for heaven. I want to remain on this Earth to experience the many blessings God offers here, to raise my children, to laugh with friends, and to grow old with my husband, well, maybe not the growing old part, but definitely enjoying many years with him.
Some days, life hurts and my heart is aware of all that is wrong with this world. On these days, when refugees have no home, cancer patients have no cure, and the oppressed have no justice, I long for the blessing of my permanent home.
The unknown always carries some level of fear. I used to be scared of going to Heaven, but over the years the fear decreased. The more I taste and see the goodness of the Lord, the greater trust I have Heaven is for me and the more I seek his kingdom.
To my friends, family, and those I have yet to meet, I pray you will want to go to Heaven and you will desire your permanent home because you have a relationship with Jesus in which you continually experience his magnificent love for you.
On the day God has appointed for my body to enter the ground and to be covered with earth and a stone marker, I want my friends and family to know my soul is finally home and I wanted to go.
May I encourage you to draw closer to God and ask him to increase your desire for your permanent home?