Now that I’m a Christian, I am ready for God to take me to heaven. This world is decayed, corrupt, and duplicitous. Why would I want to stay here anyway? It’s painful, and as I get older, it gets worse. One problem is the difference between spiritual values and earthly ones. This culture values money, prestige, pleasure, and things.
God values character. He delights in worship that expresses appreciation to Him; in faithfulness that keeps His ethical and righteous ways; in kindness that helps the weak; in honesty that keeps our dealings fair; in graciousness that gives tolerance to the foolish; in consideration that treats everyone with respect.
The reason God leaves His followers on this world is two-fold:
First, He wants to sprinkle salt and light in this dark and selfish world. It’s a bleak world. People need to know that there are people who care. Then they can believe that God cares. If they ever understood how much, they would gladly devote their lives to Him and His spiritual ways. He offers a sense of well-being that is deeper and richer than anything else in this world. The world tries to counterfeit Him, but always comes up short. Only those who walk with Him understand.
Second, God wants to develop their character in spiritual values to prepare them for eternity. Now personally, I think I’m enough of a character; I don’t need more training! But I don’t stack up to God’s definition of character. So, He continues to put me through experiences in this life that will develop deeper character in me with His values ‒ values for eternity.
Some of the experiences aren’t pleasant; some are difficult. Yet, I find that I’ve grown after I’ve endured one of these ordeals. I’ve just completed a four-year struggle with taking care of my aging parents. I journaled my discussions (and complaint-sessions) with God through this time, which will soon be published in a book. I came out better, but far from any kind of saint. We’re all just walking-wounded, works in progress. Yet, God loves us as we are and works with us to build our character.
One day, in eternity, we’ll be complete – who He made us to be. The distortions of this life will fall away and the core person He made will be seen. We’ll understand our quirks and preferences. We’ll be ourselves without hurts or pain, without façades or protection mechanisms, without distortions or excuses. We’ll be accepted and loved for who we are. We’ll understand and be able to use our talents and abilities. We’ll make contributions without conflict. We’ll be able to contribute from our core talents, spiritual gifts, and capabilities. We will be appreciated for who we are and what we do. It will be cooperative and fulfilling. It will be a far cry from the squabbles and troubles of this broken world.
I’m ready for all of this! Beam me up, Lord!