“Stan,” I began one morning, “do you ever find yourself wishing that God would have taken you into His eternal presence as soon as you became a Christian?”
“He did,” Stan replied. “But I think you may be asking in the sense of departing earth.”
“Yeah,” I said, “that’s what I meant. It seems sometimes that life here on earth is such a burden that it would be nice to have God take me up to heaven right away.”
“Oh,” Stan responded, “I sometimes find myself thinking about heaven and what a joy it will be to be in God’s eternal presence there, but then the Holy Spirit kind of taps me on the shoulder and tells me that God did not leave me here to be dreaming about heaven.”
“I think It’s certainly just fine to think about the wonder of heaven,” he continued, “but, at least for me, I prefer to focus on why God left me on this side of eternity.”
“And why’s that?” I asked.
“There can be a lot of ways to describe it,” Stan replied, “but I think that the apostle Paul said it the best in short order. That I am to work out the salvation that has been worked in through my acceptance of what Christ did through His life, death, and resurrection.”
“In addition,” he continued, “I think that David, in one of the Psalms, also got it right where he said to God that he would tell His name to everyone and that he would praise Him at all times.”
“So,” I responded, “if I’m not here, I can’t do that. And as long as I am here, that’s what I’m supposed to be doing. Is that what you are saying?”
“You got it, my friend,” Stan replied. “When we are in heaven, we will be praising God all of the time, but that’s another story for another day. As long as we are here, I think our role is to be telling everyone about God and His provision. That, and living a life of praise.”
Concluding, he said, “Stopping is not up to me. God will tell me when it’s time to stop and when it’s time for me to head for the train station. Until then, I am to keep on keeping on!”
I will tell of Thy name to my brethren; in the midst of the assembly I will praise Thee. Psalms 22:22.
Work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. Philippians 2:12, 13.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, that I can look forward to spending eternity in your presence because I have accepted your salvation through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Thank you for the joyous wonder of heaven that awaits. Thank you, too, for keeping me on this side of eternity for as long as you want so I will have the opportunity to praise you in everything and to tell others of your provision that is available to them. I confess that too often I do not do what you have left me here to do. Please forgive me. And please, Father, help me in following every step of your lead so that the remainder of my life here is truly dedicated to telling others and to praising you in every aspect of my being. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Do you ever think about how much better it will be when you are in heaven? Why or why not? Do you think you have a good understanding of why God has left you here? What do you think you are to be doing while you wait for the train? If you think you know, are you doing that? If not, what’s holding you back and what can you do about it?