Even Better Than Eden: Ch. 8, Dwelling Place, Personal Journal
If I am honest, I do not think I have a true zeal for my Father’s house. I mean, it’s a nice thought when I am in a hard place. I long for it then. But when life is going well, I tend to forget that my Bridegroom has gone ahead to prepare a place for me.
Yet I don’t think Jesus holds that against us. When I looked at John 14, this is what I find:
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” (v. 1-4)
This is right after the Last Supper. Judas has left to follow through on his betrayal. There is a sense of sadness in the air and grief in Jesus’ heart. Thinking of heaven at times like these is an immense comfort.
But for me, I am also challenged in this chapter. If that is the only time I think of heaven, then I have not fully grasped that God wants to be with me too.
In this life, we will have trials and troubles. What do I do when I cannot escape them?
I remember that my God, far from being distant in these times, has come down to me in them.
For that is the nature of love. Love wants to be with the beloved.
God traveled with them in the midst of their wanderings in the desert.
He left His temple in Jerusalem to enter exile with them, even though it was a consequence of their sin.
He even descended from His heavenly home with the Father to walk and live among His own.
He has not changed. He will do the same for you and for me.
When we find ourselves in the pit of despair.
When loved ones turn against us.
When we feel hopeless.
For there is nothing that can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom. 8:39).
Often times, I struggle in the daily care of Anah because I feel alone. But am I truly alone? What difference would it make for me if I remembered that in these moments, I am actually in the presence of the One who loves me more than anyone else?
For there is no height nor depth I can travel, east or west, where I will not be in the presence of God (Ps. 139). He is there. I simply need to remember it.
And because He is there, all the resources I need to live and love well are there too: patience, compassion, courage, strength.
What difference does His presence make for you?