Waiting for heaven while living on earth

Sometimes it’s just hard, isn’t it?

This world is heavy. The more you grow up, the more you live with the reality of pain and sadness and loneliness and messiness. This is why we are constantly looking for something to make this world better. 

A new leader, a new boss, a new exercise, a new job, a new spouse, a new diet, a new pair of shoes, a new house, a new drink, a new year. All because “new” gives us hope. New is full of promise.

But new lets you down as it quickly becomes old. Cars rust. You have to pay bills with your new spouse. The new leader doesn’t keep all the old promises. Pizza is so much yummier than the new diet.

Can I tell you what? We are all just foolin’ ourselves. It’s like we ignore the hard truth in search of a dream. The reality is that “for while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life” (2 Corinthians 5:4). 

What we all—people who believe in Jesus and people who don’t—really want is heaven. We all really want our heavenly bodies. Instead, we try to fill our longing for heaven with stuff of earth. For people who believe in Jesus, we know that nothing is going to be better until we live in our new heaven and our new earth. 

So what do we do?

  1. “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). Every time you start to fill the longing in your soul with something on earth, put that thought in prison. Lock it up and don’t let it roam free in your mind where it can only wreak havoc.
  2. “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things” (Colossians 3:2). You have been buried and raised with Christ. You have a future guaranteed for you. A glorious future that cannot be taken away. 
  3. Find Christian community. I’m not living in some rose-colored glasses world. I know you still have heartache, illness, pain, and sadness. These are all real sufferings in a broken world. But if you try to navigate this world without support, you will feel more and more alone. Find a group of believers that you can pray for, laugh with, grow with, confess to, and encourage.
  4. Tell others about the hope that you have. For people who don’t believe in Jesus, it will only get worse. Take the time you have left in this world to offer hope in the middle of hopelessness. Maybe they will listen; maybe they won’t. But speak the truth and let the Holy Spirit work in their hearts.

Linda Buxa is a writer, Bible study leader, and retreat speaker. If she had a fifth point in this post, it would be to encourage you to listen to this song: O Praise the Name(Anástasis). The truths of Jesus’ death and resurrection are so beautifully clear, and she cries every time she sings the line, “And I will rise among the saints, My gaze transfixed on Jesus’ face.” (Feel free to put it on repeat like she does.)