For Heaven's Sake
None of us escape wondering whether this life is all there is? For followers of Jesus Christ we know the answer is a resounding "No!" The writer of Ecclesiastes asked this question. He yearned for something more.” He gives a glint of hope (3:11). A moment of expression of what this more might look like.
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men...
“He has set eternity in the hearts of men.” What does it mean to have eternity, to have heaven set in one’s heart? What difference does it make to our lives?
C.S. Lewis made an astute observation about how we have eternity in our hearts and what it means so far as heaven is concerned.
Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for those desires exists. A baby feels hunger: well, there is such a thing as food. A duckling wants to swim: well there is such a thing as water. Men feel sexual desire: well, there is such a thing as sex. I find in myself no experience which this world can satisfy the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. If none of my earthly pleasures satisfy it, that does not mean that the universe is a fraud … earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it, but only to arouse it, to suggest the real thing.
Lewis goes on to say:
… when the real want for heaven is present in us, we do not recognize it. Most people, if they had really learned to look into their own hearts, would know that they do want, and want acutely, something that cannot be had in this world. There are all sorts of things in this world that can offer to give it to you, but they never quite keep their promise.
Is this life all there is? Lewis would say, “No!” The very longing we have for something more is evidence of its existence. The experiences of this life make us long for something more. Heaven is where we begin to experience completeness.
The book of Revelation is the record John’s vision. The vision gives us a lot of information about this place called heaven. In chapter 21 we have a brief description of the kind of place it will be:
I heard a voice thunder from the Throne: “Look! Look! God has moved into the neighborhood, making his home with men and women! They’re his people, he’s their God. He’ll wipe every tear from their eyes. Death is gone for good—tears gone, crying gone, pain gone …
The answer the question: “Is that all there is?” Becomes a resounding “No” in the light of heaven.
In 1952, young Florence Chadwick stepped into the waters of the Pacific Ocean off Catalina Island, determined to swim to the shore of mainland California. She’d already been the first woman to swim the English Channel both ways. The weather was foggy and chilly; she could hardly see the boats accompanying her. Still, she swam for 15 hours. When she begged to be taken out of the water along the way, her mother, in a boat alongside, told her that she was close and that she could make it. Finally, physically and emotionally exhausted, she stopped swimming and was pulled out. It wasn’t until she was on the boat that she discovered the shore was less than half a mile away. At a news conference the next day she said, “All I could see was the fog … I think if I could have seen the shore, I would have made it.
It helps us to make our way through this life knowing that we can see the shores of heaven.