When you think about Heaven, does an image of some earthly place come to your mind? I know Heaven is better than anything we could ever imagine and nothing on Earth can even compare what Jesus has gone to prepare for us. Still, my wandering imagination loves to think about what my heavenly home will look like.
For the first seven years of my life, I lived on a farm in North Dakota. It was the perfect place for a kid like me who liked to roam around and just be alone with my thoughts. Our farmhouse had clumps of trees all around it and I would find myself walking around exploring every nook and cranny of those miniature forests. I loved the way the trees would bend at the top and touch the tops of other trees on the opposite side, making "tree tunnels" with their branches. There were small clearings where rays of sunlight would warm the soft green grass that had little purple wildflowers peeking out of the ground. It smelled fresh and clean, with just a hint of diesel in the air (it was a working farm, after all!) Even now when I think about it, I get a sense of calm and peace. Maybe that's why I've never felt the need to go to a spa . . . my thoughts of that place and time bring me peace and serenity. Of all those lovely places in that sprawling yard, there was one in particular that brought me, shall we say, "a peace that passes understanding". It was a corridor that ran down the long side of the yard and the way the trees bent and swayed with the breeze sent flashes and flecks of sunlight all around. I thought as a little girl, "This must be what Heaven is like." I felt so close to God there. I couldn't imagine anything more beautiful than that spot. I felt almost otherworldly as I drifted down the grass, towards the rays of sunshine poking through the silvery-green leaves. Years later on a Sunday morning at church, we sang "My God and I" and immediately my mind went back to that place and time. I pictured my God and I walking through my heaven on Earth, holding hands and hearing the breeze rustle through the trees. I can hear him (because I KNOW his voice is a cross between my Granddad and Morgan Freeman!) tell me all about His creation, why He made beaches and forests and yes, I think he'll even tell me what Paul's "thorn in the flesh" was. . . because he knows I am dying of curiosity :) He tells me why things in my life didn't always turn out the way I thought they should, but he shows me that His will and timing are perfect . . . just like my Heavenly spot near my childhood home. He tells me He loves me and He's glad I'm with Him and He's created this beautiful corner of Heaven all for me. He tells me Jesus has been preparing this exact spot for me ever since I was a little girl, knowing I would be here someday to enjoy it for eternity. I didn't have to tell Him how much I loved that place, because He was always in my thoughts and in my heart. He knew how much I loved that place before I did. It's already waiting for me.