I’m in the throes of moving from a large house to an apartment in Notre Dame Village in Chardon. This means reducing what now fills two floors, an attic, and a basement so that my personal belongings, furniture, and office will fit into four and a half rooms. Maybe you’ve had this experience. If so, you know it is an ordeal, especially if you’ve been a hoarder like me. I keep telling myself, “This too will pass, and soon I’ll be enjoying a brand new home with dozens of lovely companions.”
In this Sunday’s epistle, Paul encourages himself and us to look past the hardships of today to the glory that awaits us in our heavenly home. He didn’t have to move many belongings since he was a nomad, but he endured much worse—beatings, whippings, and shipwreck—as he spread the Gospel. He is getting older and looks forward to his eternal home.
I bet Jesus could hardly wait to be home with his heavenly Father. On earth he had to put up with people thinking he was insane or possessed by the devil. He was accused of blasphemy and criticized for eating with sinners. The religious leaders and his own relatives didn’t accept him. His disciples didn’t always understand him. Jesus had to suffer a great deal before reaching glory.
Sorting through my things evokes many memories. They make me realize how life is like a rollercoaster with exhilarating high points and depressing low points. Reflecting on some tough spots I managed to plow through—and survive—gives me courage to face whatever is around the corner until I reach the end of my journey.
As Christians with many good, loving deeds in our pockets, we can count on our final destination being heaven. Jesus promised, “In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places” (John 14:2), and he said he would prepare a place for us. We don’t have to pack any boxes to take there, thank goodness! And just think of the wonderful neighbors we’ll have . . . forever. Once we’re there, we’ll never have to move again.
Who do you look forward to living with in heaven?