What's so great about heaven?

"He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” -- Revelation 21:4

I used to think that the great thing about heaven would be heaven itself. The Bible talks about paradise in breathtaking language -- streets paved with gold, gates made of pearl, mansions for redeemed souls, crowns and jewels, and, whether these things are taken figuratively or literally, there's no doubt heaven will be an awe-inspiring place of unparalleled beauty.

Our humanity also craves other heavenly attributes. We long to see again those we love who died in Christ and gone to heaven before us. As Christians who mourn sin, we yearn for the day we will be free from these "bod(ies) of death" and know holiness.

The truly great thing about heaven, however, will not be any of these things, I think. As beautiful as paradise itself will be, as precious as the reunions with my brothers and sisters promises to be, as liberating as it will be to exist free from suffering and sin, and as illuminating as it will be to finally understand the why of everything, the end -- the goal of it all -- is Him.

To finally see Him as He is, not a human perception of Him that is dimmed by a sinful nature, limited by physical sight, or bound by a finite mind, but to know Him even better than the angels do and be in complete and utter, flat-on-the-ground awe of the One who saw me first and loved me anyway. That’s the goal. That’s the prize. That’s the gift.

Truly He spoke rightly when He told Abraham, “I AM … your very great reward.” I AM. Not His precious gifts, but the awe-inspiring, sheer holiness, the all-encompassing light that is HIM. One day.

Holy God, I believe You are my reward. I hope for the day I see Your face and know You as You deserve to be known. Thank you for saving me, that this reality will one day be mine.

TRUTH FOR TODAY: After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am your shield, and your exceeding great reward. Genesis 15:1