When our daughter Krystal was four years old, her requested Christmas gift was a “ballerina outfit.” So, I ordered a sweet tutu, very fluffy and glittery, with an attached bodice, in her favorite color – pink.
The tutu came in a plastic bag, and I wrapped it still in the plastic. On Christmas morning it lay in wait for her under the tree. The tutu was one of the first gifts Krystal opened, and as soon as she had it in her hands – all those layers of pink net snuggled tightly into that plastic bag – I began to snap pictures. After a few minutes, I realized that, although Krystal was trying to look happy, she really wasn’t.
The truth dawned, and I asked the relevant question. “Krystal do you know what’s in the bag?”
Her answer was an apologetic squeak. “No.”
Poor little girl. All this celebration for a gift that was still a mystery. I opened the plastic bag, shook out the tutu, and our daughter’s smile lit up the room.
One of God’s greatest gifts to us is also somewhat of a mystery. Jesus Christ was born on this earth to pay for our sins by his death on the cross. Through his resurrection, he proved the truth of heaven. Yet, for many of us, the thought of heaven looms more frightening than comforting. It’s the unknown. It’s the gift still wrapped in plastic. We pretend to be happy about our eventual home, but still, it’s difficult to imagine life beyond what we already have on earth.
I’m not about to embark on a description of that next world. I’ve never been there, but the good news is, God has. And to put our minds at ease, He has already told us quite a bit about heaven in His Holy Word. These are some of my favorite passages:
- Heaven is a forever-place given to us because God loves us. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (King James Version)
- Heaven is prepared specifically for us, according to our personal preferences and joys. John 14:2 Jesus says, “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.” (King James version)
- Heaven is so amazing, we can’t begin to imagine all the wonders God has prepared for us there. I Corinthians 2:9 “But as it is written, eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” (King James Version)
- Life in Heaven is free of sadness and pain. Revelation 21:4 “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away.” (King James Version)
We have so many reasons to celebrate this joyful season of Christmas. God’s love. The birth of the Savior. The gifts God gives us to enrich our lives here on earth. How wonderful to realize that we have an incredible gift still waiting, a gift given to us from the very heart of God. Heaven, a place of unending love, joy, celebration, peace, and comfort.
(Photo by Sue Harrison)