"I heard the singing of thousands and millions of angels around the throne and the living beings and the elders. And they sang in a mighty chorus: "The Lamb is worthy--the Lamb who was slain. He is worthy to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing." Revelation 5:11-12
Before last February, I have to be honest and say I really didn't think that much about Heaven. I certainly didn't have what I would call a "longing" for Heaven. That has all changed. I now find myself frequently thinking of Heaven, and anxiously awaiting the day that I arrive there. There is a conflict in this longing, though...if I am completely truthful with myself, I have to recognize that it is not Jesus I am longing to see most of all; it is Hannah.
Nancy Guthrie (who has last two children) addresses this conflict in her book, "The One Year Book of Hope". She asks, "Should you feel guilty about wanting to see someone you love in Heaven? I don't think so. It is a desire God uses to awaken us to Himself. When someone we love is there, Heaven becomes more real and our longing more vivid. It is a sacred longing."
She goes on to say, "While people we love are precious to us and our reunions with them in Heaven will be grand, the fact that we long for them more than we long for Jesus reflects our current human limitations of taking in the beauty and magnificence of Jesus. In Heaven, we will see Him in His fullness, and we will not have to choose between focusing on the people we love and loving Jesus with our whole heart. We'll be swept up with the chorus of Heaven singing, "The Lamb is worthy" (Revelation 5:12). And together with those we love, we will look to Jesus."
We have not been in our home church too many Sunday mornings since Hannah left us for Heaven, because we've been traveling and sharing her story so much. And the times we have been there, we have not sat in our "usual place" (you know how everybody in church seems to have a certain spot staked out where they always sit). Yesterday, though, we found ourselves back in that spot where the four of us always used to sit. The girls usually sat between Brad and me, and I always enjoyed singing the hymns and choruses along with them. As I stood and sang yesterday morning, I could almost feel and hear Hannah standing next to me singing like she used to. And I am reminded that someday, I will stand next to her again, and sing in the actual presence of Jesus. What an awesome thought!!