What if you got to Heaven… and God wasn’t there?

Golden-CrownHave you ever asked yourself whether you’d still want to go to heaven if God weren’t there?

I’m really not into rap, but I just can’t go past this song by Shai Linne:

“Would you be satisfied, to go to heaven, have everybody there in your family that you want there, have all the health and restoration of your prime and everything you disliked about yourself fixed, have every recreation you’ve ever dreamed available to you, and have infinite resources and money to spend, would you be satisfied…

… If God weren’t there?”

This question hits me pretty deep, because to be honest, there’s a big part of me that thinks I would be satisfied; there’s a big part of me that looks forward to and longs for heaven because of all of those things.

But that’s not what I want for my life, nor for my eternity.

May it be my ever increasing desire to say along with Linne and King David that:

“I don’t wanna go to heaven if God is not there.

Whom have I in Heaven but You (nobody), And earth has nothing I desire but You. My flesh and my heart may fail, however – the Lord is my portion forever… forever… “

I’m having to remind myself this week that my hope and my treasure is not in a place or in things, but in a person. Heaven is not heaven without God. May He be the sole desire of my heart.

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Does God Only Give Good Gifts?

During a time that I was very sick, a friend told me that ‘God doesn’t want you to be sick,’ and that ‘God only gives good gifts.’

I wrestled with this for a long time. I struggled with the passage in Matthew 7 which says “Which of you fathers, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?… How much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him.” I read Psalm 84:11 which says “…no good thing doe he withhold from those whose walk is blameless” and I wondered why God was holding out on me.1050853_30933761

If God is good, and gives good gifts, why do I hate so many of the things He gives me? Either God does not always give good gifts, or my perception of what is ‘good’ is warped.

I’ve come to believe the latter. So often my perspective is confined to the here and now. I look at my circumstances and what God has given me, and feel that they really aren’t all that good. However, when my perspective doesn’t line up with that of scripture, it’s me who needs to change.

Sometimes God gives us things that are hard to bear, but if we trust His word, we can see that ultimately He works ALL things together for our good. He is good and he gives good things, sometimes it’s us who need to recognize that what is ‘good’ does not always feel gratifying now.

What if David knew?

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I’ve had a note scrawled in my Bible for years now. I can’t even remember the circumstances surrounding me writing it, but it’s struck me a few times since:

Imagine if David knew, while he was in the cave, singing alone to God, that people would find comfort in his songs 3,000 years later; that the book that contained his songs would be directly from God; that it would be the best-selling book of all time.

I can be fairly sure that David had no clue, but I can’t help wondering, whether if he did, it suddenly would have all seemed worth it. Like us, David had times when he was alone, cold and despairing. He was in danger, overcome with fear and felt helpless. In the midst of the storm, he cried out to His God, with no comprehension of its significance in God’s big picture plan.

Our words may not be written down in scripture for millions of people to read over thousands of years, but like David, we often cannot see the way that God can and will use our own legacy.

As you go through the storms of life, remember that your time here is short, but that the beauty and influence that can be worked in you through the hands of the Potter do not fade away.

One day, I have no doubt, it will all be worth it.