Friday, March 8, 2013

The Audacity of Heaven - or - Heaven is a Slap in the Face

We tend to settle for things.

And understandably so.  Buffeted and battered as we are by life, we make the best of it, we grin and bear it.

We do not moan the moans, give voice to the great longing that we feel.  We do not reveal the hole that is never full, the hole in the pit, the very pit of our stomachs, the very pit of hell inside of each of us.  It  is a desire that we can never find satisfaction for, a debt that will ever remain unpaid - the great unfulfilled longing, the gaping hole of unhappiness, the greatest and most persistent effect of sin.

***

And suddenly there comes, as a surprise, the Person who answers the question we dare not ask, who feeds us with the bread we have denied that we desire, who gives us to drink the water that quenches that never-ending thirst.

Heaven is not angels and harps and elevator music.

It is not a nice comfy chair, a new sofa, people being friendly and welcoming.

Heaven is a slap in the face.

"Dare you hide or soften your desire for Me?" says the LORD.  "Dare you overlook the pain men gave you, the pain you gave them, the pain you all gave Me?  Dare you desire not what you think you desire - sex, euphoria, comfort - dare you desire what I dare to give you?  The answer to your question, the filling of the pit, the Satisfaction that is more real and more final than you could ever have imagined?"

***

The purpose of all of our suffering is to get us to give up our selfish sophistries and to prepare us for a far greater fulfillment, a far more encompassing satisfaction, than we could ever imagine.

And love, the greatest of all gifts, is, on earth, but a shadow of it.


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