“It’s 10 am, Mom. You know what that means … it’s officially just a week left! Dad said he would pick us up at 10 am next Friday, and then we are off on our trip! Do you think I should start packing today?”
Three of my children are preparing to leave. In just 168 hours (according to Nathan’s latest update), they will walk out the door, suitcases in hand, to board a jet plane headed for Germany where they will spend the first half of the summer visiting their dad.
Eager. Enthusiastic. Wired with excitement. These words describe the mood of my three first-time world travelers.
Each day now is spent with an attitude of preparation and expectation for this highly anticipated trip. My kids are impatient for their father’s return, even though he will be taking them to a place they have never seen. None of them doubt their dad will do as he said, and come for them. Moreover, they are eager for his return, filled with anticipation for the journey ahead, and trust implicitly everything will be just as their father has told them it will be.
And as sad as I am to see them go away for six long weeks, I can’t blame them. If I were in their shoes, I would also be excited to embark on the adventure of a lifetime! I just wish I had plane tickets to join them. I wish I could pack my bags and experience the excitement of going to a new country for the very first time.
Unfortunately, I’m not invited. All I can do is prepare myself to say goodbye, and pray they bring me back some German chocolate as a souvenir.
As a Christian, I too am preparing for a trip. I also have a Father who has promised to return for me, to take me to a place I’ve never seen.
In John chapter 14, Jesus said these words:
“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”
As I watch my children excitedly prepare for their earthly father’s anticipated arrival, I wonder if the way I live my life here on this earth reflects that one day (possibly soon) my Heavenly Father will come for me, and take me to a new place, a home which I have never seen.
The difference is my children know the exact time their trip will begin. So they are able to count down the days, hours and even minutes. They have also seen pictures of Germany. The list of sites they hope to see grows longer each day, as they peruse the internet and scour travel guides from the library. The Ann Frank House, Neuschwanstein Castle, a hike in the Alps, a visit to Europa Park (a large amusement park in Germany) … so many interesting places to go and new things to experience! And even though they haven’t yet embarked on their travels, this trip feels as real as a trip to the grocery store.
Yet, the reality of heaven quite often feels to me like a dream or a made-up fantasy. Perhaps if I had a specific date or a few photos to view, the journey would seem more of a certainty. But I don’t have a date to circle on the calendar. And other than the Bible, there are no travel books to tell me more about heaven’s glory. I can’t look at pictures or talk to someone who has visited there.
But I do know heaven is just as real as any place on earth, more wonderful and perfect than I can begin to imagine, and my Jesus will come to take me there Himself. I don’t need expensive tickets, just faith and a personal relationship with Jesus Christ are all I need to be invited to travel there.
I’m eager to go check out heaven … just as soon as Jesus comes to take me home!
What about you? Do you believe heaven is real? Are you ready to travel when the Savior returns?
If not, I hope you will ask me how you can get your “free ticket” today.