Last week I had the tremendous blessing of volunteering in my church’s Sunday afternoon children’s program. Gosh, I had forgotten how fun that can be! They have been studying the Lord’s Prayer, and the craft assignment was to draw a picture of “God in heaven.”
It is always a treat to learn what kids think heaven is like. My favorite children’s sermon of all time was when I asked the children, “What is heaven like?” and a three-year-old thoughtfully responded, “Miss Betsy, I think heaven is a place where you don’t have to worry about going tee-tee in your pants.” Yup. Can’t argue with that. Heaven indeed is a place where we don’t have to worry about anything.
Last Sunday, I went around the room to see the kid’s drawings. Most of them had chosen light blue or yellow paper and were drawing angels, clouds, and a large, bearded man. One boy, however, had selected black paper and a white pencil. I was fascinated by his selections and watched as he drew lightning bolts and an imposing, ghost-like figure … with a beard …. always with a beard. At the bottom of the drawing, he drew a small earth with a happy donkey on top. That is some creative, out-of-the-box thinking there.
What do you think heaven is like?
In our psalm today, we get a beautiful picture of the psalmist’s idea:
Psalm 84 (New Revised Standard Version Updated Edition)
How lovely is your dwelling place,
O Lord of hosts!
2 My soul longs, indeed it faints
for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh sing for joy
to the living God.
His emotional response to God’s home is obvious. He not only longs, but he also faints in anticipation of joining God in his dwelling place. This is a healthy attitude for believers. We, too, should have such a longing for heaven, our true home.
3 Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may lay her young,
at your altars, O Lord of hosts,
my King and my God.
4 Happy are those who live in your house,
ever singing your praise.
This is a reminder of the joy we will experience in God’s house. It will be a time of happiness and praise, not worry and toil.
5 Happy are those whose strength is in you,
in whose heart are the highways to Zion.
6 As they go through the valley of Baca
they make it a place of springs;
the early rain also covers it with pools.
7 They go from strength to strength;
the God of gods will be seen in Zion.
But for now, we can find happiness in God’s strength for the journey. As we make our way through this pilgrimage of life, we go from strength to strength until God calls us home.
If you were to get your colored pencils out right now and draw a picture of heaven, what would its look like? Hold this image in your heart as you go about your day today. From strength to strength, God is with us.