December 1 marked the beginning of Advent this year on the Christian Church calendar.
Advent. The season of anticipation, of expectation.
We take time to remember how Mary and Joseph awaited the birth of Jesus. This chosen couple knew their son was special, but they could not comprehend everything God had planned.
Every day in the life of a Christian is Advent.
Every day, I anticipate the Second Coming, at least, I should. Every day I wake up with the expectant question, “What adventure does God have for me today? What mission? What joyous moment? What treasure?
Charles Spurgeon spoke of the treasure God has pledged to us. Heaven. Everlasting life with Him.
My finite self can’t comprehend heaven and everything He has in store for me, much like Mary and Joseph couldn’t know future events involving their family. I try to look forward to heaven in the same way I would anticipate a long-awaited, expensive birthday present, but heaven’s rewards are so far beyond a mere gift,
It’s difficult to admit, but I don’t know how to look forward to heaven because my understanding is so limited. I simply wait, trusting that heaven is good because God says so.
Then I feel guilty . How can I not get excited about heaven?
It helps to look at a toddler’s first Christmas. She doesn’t understand the fuss whirling around her. The tree with its pretty lights and shiny baubles is fascinating. The brightly wrapped boxes under the tree beg for her attention, but everyone tells her no. She must wait to touch the presents. Christmas morning arrives, and someone hands her a gift. Finally!
After tearing the paper off the box, she notes the teddy bear inside, then turns her attention to shredding the paper and pulling apart the shiny ribbon. She is now delighted with the idea of Christmas presents but misses the point. Although she’s aware of the gift in the box, it doesn’t much interest her until all the gaudy non-essentials are used up.
I know that heaven is in my future, but forever with God doesn’t compute. God’s blessings right here on earth dazzle me. It’s hard to truly understand that His generosity in the present doesn’t compare to heaven.
Long after the Christmas wrapping paper has been cleared away, the toddler adores the true gift of her teddy bear. Someday, I’m going to cherish everything God has prepared for me in heaven, but for now, I’m like that little kid playing with the shiny ribbon.
Once the earth has passed away, I’ll enjoy the real treasure.