Monday, October 30, 2017

Heaven Will Be Worth It All

"Heaven Will Be Worth It All"
By: Elisha Jane Wells

I've heard it said that a picture is worth a thousand words.
In my opinion, that is certainly true of this painting by John Stevens.

At first glance I was immediately carried to this place where Heaven touched Earth. I could imagine walking up that steep, rocky path and suddenly finding myself at heaven's gates.
I imagined every labored breath and strained muscle as I made the climb. I could feel the stones rolling beneath my feet and the stone bruises on my heels. I felt the stinging burn of scraped knees where I had stumbled on the uneven path. I could feel the rough bite of the bark of a makeshift walking stick on the palm of my hand. I heard the rustle of a breeze in the leaves and smelled the scent of those pines. I saw the beauty of nature and the danger of those loose boulders all in one sweeping glance. I felt the sweat trickle down my face and back as the sun beat down upon me. My shoulders bowed beneath the weight of the pack on my back. I imagined the defeat of feeling that I would never reach the top. That one more step was just too much.

Then, in my mind's eye I imagined raising my head to see the splendor of heaven before me. Suddenly that mountain path didn't seem so steep, the boulders didn't seem so dangerous, and my feet didn't hurt so bad. Suddenly every step, every scraped knee and labored breath were worth it if this was what waited at the end of my climb.

And that was only my reaction to a painting done with human hands.

Along our journey as Christians we face many things, from daily temptations to life shattering situations. We don't always think these things are fair and often imagine them to be more than we can bare. The path is often steep and rocky. Would to God I could say it would always be a smooth, perfectly paved path, but that is not the case. There are many loose boulders we have to face, have to get past, or climb over. We face trials, doubts, and fears. We endure heartache and loss. We go through storms in life we never imagined we would have to face. For every blessing it seems we must also endure a curse. We struggle forward though sometimes it feels like even one more step will be just too much. Sometimes we feel we simply can't go on and in an attempt not to completely collapse we must simply stand.

But allow me a moment to encourage you in your journey.
For one glimpse of Heaven will be worth it all. Imagine the beauty and splendor of this world, of landscapes and overlooks, of sunsets and ocean views. That is a beauty it took God only 6 days to complete. Now imagine what Heaven must be like. He has spent thousands of years preparing that place to be absolutely perfect in all ways for us. The greatest joy of all being that we will be there with Him for all eternity.

So, yes, the journey may seem long.
Yes, the mountain may be steep and rough and we may have to climb over or even dodge a lose boulder or two.
There may be times we can't take a step forward and just have to stand still and take a deep breath.

But in the end, every trial, every temptation, every heartache will be worth it all. When we raise our eyes and realize that at the end of that steep and difficult climb is a view like we could never have imagined. That suddenly laid out before us is an eternity in paradise with our Savior.

So continue to climb. Continue to press.
If you must, take a moment to stand and draw a breath.
But do not back down. Do not give up. Do not give in.
Heaven will be worth it all.

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