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"Repent, the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand." -Jesus, in Matthew 4:17

What is the "Kingdom of Heaven"? Or, we might ask, "What is it for you?" Gold streets? Oh yeah! Great food? Alright! Tons of fun? Super!

Wait, is that the Kingdom of Heaven or Six Flags amusement park? Is there any difference?

Can something be better than you imagined it could be, and not at all what you thought it would be?

Doesn't it have to be both to be either? It can't be better than I imagined unless it's different than I thought it'd be. Only if it's not what I expected can it be greater than I hoped.

What if a person enjoyed punching others in the nose? What's heaven like for him? Is it a land full of suckers looking to get smacked in the kisser? Of course not. So also all our ideas of what we want from God--all our "heavens" and all our "Your will being done on earth"--are shaped by sinful folly. We want heaven--and life--to be better-than without being different-from. No can do. 

Can you trust God to handle things in your favor? Will His will be better-than? Then it must be different-from. And if I don't get what I want from God, but I know for sure that what He works will be good and better, can I live with that? Can I trust Him?

That's this life in a nutshell. You will not get what you want. And in heaven... it won't be what you in your folly and sin now think you want. Can you trust Him? Won't He do good? 

So breath, friend. Relax. Know what the future holds? Pain and sorrow. Know what heaven holds? A weight of glory beyond all comparison. 

Take a deep breath. You're going to make it. (And in 500-years we'll talk together about this moment with a sense of wonder, relief, and gratitude. We'll be fine. And if we'll be fine, then we can be okay.)

Carnivals are fun. But the bone-shaking relief and joy of glory with the Father will be so much different from all the glories of this life. And better than.

Photo by Ethan Hu on Unsplash