Strange as it may seem, I’ve been struggling with regret that I will die and go to Heaven. It’s irrational, of course, and it’s unrelated to anything temporal; it isn’t because I’ll miss some physical or relational aspect of my life here on Earth.
The dilemma is that I haven’t been able to imagine how I could possibly have more access to God than I already have. Now, I can be as close to Him as I like, closer than my own breath. I can talk to Him any time, commune with Him whenever I like, as much as I want. (2Co 13:14) No one else can separate me from Him (Ro 8:39), or have any claim on Him that might constrain my access to Him; nothing ever interferes or limits His availability to me.
Yet, as Christ was in an earthly body, bound by time and space, He could only personally converse with one person at a time; only one disciple at a time could lean on Jesus’ bosom (Jn 13:23); He could only hold one or two children in His arms at a time. There’s something about the physicality of Heaven that seems intrinsically to break down the omnipresence of God to me: once I see Him, I will then also see the millions of others who clamor for His attention, and I cannot understand how I could possibly have the same unfiltered, unbroken, unrestrained access to Him there that I have here and now.
This uncertainty has been causing me to hesitate about Heaven; my fellowship with Him is the most precious thing to me, and I cannot let the smallest particle of it go without feeling a sense of immense loss. As the disciples could not possibly understand why it was expedient for Christ to depart from this world so the Comforter would come (Jn 16:5-7), I’ve been feeling similarly. How could it possibly be good for me to die and go to Heaven, where both Father and Son will appear so very far away, surrounded by millions of saints, from whom I’m essentially indistinguishable?
How it could be better I cannot actually fathom yet, but God says it is not just better, but far better to depart this world to be with Christ. (Php 1:23) To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (2Co 5:8), and it is, in fact, evidently the kind of presence that makes what I have now much more like absence (2Co 5:6), more like blindness than sight. (2Co 5:7)
If from the vantage of Heaven I will consider what I had on Earth an absence from Jesus Christ, a blindness compared to how I am finally seeing, then this heavenly state must indeed be infinitely and indescribably precious. Now, I can align with Paul, and know a passion to depart this life to be so much more with God than I am now!
Meanwhile, it’s like I’m straining to see Him through darkly colored windows, but soon it will be face to face. (1Co 13:12) This hope I have as an anchor of my soul, both sure and steadfast, entering within the veil, the holiest place in the universe, where Jesus Christ abides (He 6:19-20), and I in Him.
2 thoughts on “Far Better”
Thank you for sharing. Understood the end a bit, working on the alpha. This sentence: [The dilemma is that I haven’t been able to imagine how I could possibly have more access to God than I already have.] Personally, I can imagine being closer to Him, however I realize, His definition of closeness, and my definition – are miles apart. He after all IS the Potter, I but a piece of Clay.
The hard part for myself, and perhaps you hint at it — we are Not alone. [From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love]
Part of Knowing Him IS to learn to be fitly joined together with others, and not only that, but to be COMPACTED 🙂 I like my prayer closet — it is – in a sense much easier — but part of the prayer closet reminds us, that we are Called to be Fitly Joined Compacted together. Messy as all get out at times — but when You supply or are supplied by another joint, and You are part of making increase of the Body which edifies in Love –there is a rich closeness for us to be part of there — also.
Excuse the rant, edit it down or out as you choose.
Thanks Stephen, I love this! I agree that being part of a body, which down here includes false brothers, can indeed be painful and messy.
The only edit to your comment relates to an update in the wording and emphasis in the post, which you quoted and I adjusted, moving away from my perception of my personal experience to what kind of experiential communion Yeshua is actually offering. As you mention, I might think I am as close to God as I can be, but my definition and His might indeed be very different, and I certainly expect that I am not as close to Him as He would like.