I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD. – Psalms 27:13-14 (NIV)
Heaven is going to be beyond anything we can hope or comprehend. To be perfectly at peace with God in His presence, joining together with all the saints in praising His name is amazing to think about. However, heaven is someplace we end up and there is a long road between now and then. The Psalmist has confidence that life in this broken world is not something we muddle through without hope or happiness.
I don’t want to be one of those people who are just waiting for heaven. I have seen the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living and I have faith that I will see it again. My arrival in heaven doesn’t really require anything more from me than the step I made at 9 years of age to surrender my life to Christ. However, the life of Christ in this world requires intention on my part. It is possible to get to heaven and miss the times that heaven touches down on earth.
The prescription laid forth in the psalm has three parts: be strong, take heart and wait for the Lord. If we want to see the goodness of the Lord in the here and now, we need to grab a hold of these three disciplines. To be strong is to be unshakeable and unbending. It is strength in our beliefs and standards that take us through the wilderness to the land of promise. But strength only comes with exercise, with increasing weight to bear. To be strong one must bearing the weight of waiting for God’s goodness to break through.
Taking heart is what keeps our attitude in a place so we can be strong. If we lose heart we lose our motivation for gaining and keeping the strength we need in this world. Taking heart is about gaining courage from the truth of who God is and knowing how that changes everything in our lives.
If we can be strong and take heart it will help us to wait for the Lord. We do not know God’s timing, but we do know His timing is right. Strength, courage and patient trust in God’s timing – these are the disciplines that give us eyes to see His goodness and be His instruments of goodness in a broken world.
As a parent, there is comfort in the reality of a heaven to come. The joy and wholeness we will experience in the place and time are beyond words, but I want my children to have those heavenly moments today. I am confident of this: they can know the strength that comes from knowing the truth, take heart from experiencing the mercy and grace of a loving God and learn patient expectation for the goodness of God in this world.
Lord, help me to be strong, take heart and wait for Your goodness. Help me lead my children into these disciplines so that they can see heavenly moments in this world. Help us wait for You. Amen.