I recently finished reading the Chronicles of Narnia and my Bible study is currently going through the book Heaven by Randy Alcorn. Both have caused me to think a lot about what heaven is and looks like.
While I don’t necessarily agree with all that Alcorn says, his thoughts and research have caused me to be a bit more excited about actually going to heaven. That may sound weird, but it’s true.
My idea of heaven has always been that it’s someplace cloudy, floaty, pristine-y and honestly, kind of boring. For some reason — I don’t know why — I picture heaven being fairly monochromatic — all white, all the time (with a couple streets of gold mixed in here and there). I’ve pictured us sitting around singing praise and worship to the Lord — it brings new meaning to the song, “I Could Sing of Your Love Forever.” Although I know in my head that it will be wonderful spending time with my Creator, I’ve always felt a bit guilty about wanting my time on earth to last as long as possible before I had to enter heaven’s eternal realm.
What I’ve been learning, though, is that heaven will actually be pretty awesome. And I think it’ll look a lot more like earth than we might think. First of all, Revelation 21 talks about how the new Jerusalem descends to earth and God comes to live here with us. The new Jerusalem will be a city — something that we can understand. We probably won’t float around on clouds as we strum harps all day long — we’ll fellowship, work, play, build, laugh and explore. And we’ll worship God in all of those ways.
In The Chronicles of Narnia, I loved The Last Battle when the children enter the new Narnia and realize that the Narnia they had known and loved was only a shadow of the real thing. Aslan’s real Narnia was similar to the old but it was more, it was better, it was real. Everything they had loved about the old Narnia was simply a small picture of what was to come:
The new [Narnia] was a deeper country: every rock and flower and blade of grass looked as if it meant more. I can’t describe it any better than that: if ever you get there you will know what I mean. It was the Unicorn who summed up what everyone was feeling. He stamped his right fore-hoof on the ground and neighed, and then he cried: “I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now. The reason why we loved the old Narnia is that is sometimes looked a little like this. Bree-hee-hee! Come further up, come further in!”
The reason we love some of the good things on this earth is that it sometimes gives us a small glimpse of what is yet to come. And just imagine what this place — mountains, streams, cities, relationships, light — will be like when the curse has been lifted and all creation is redeemed!
It makes me excited for heaven’s glory and it spurs me on to action so that those I love will be there with me.