My wife, Barbara, is a fastidious housekeeper. Clutter and dirt do not generally last very long in our home. The weekly cleaning day restores pretty much the entire house to its pristine condition. Periodic spot cleanings throughout the week demonstrate her resolve to keep our home immaculate. It is a trait inherited from her full-blooded Dutch mother, and a trait that has been tested numerous times by her very messy husband.
Barb asked the Lord to show her how our knowledge of heaven should impact our lives. After all, the Bible says, “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth” (Colossians 3:2). So, my wife asked God to teach her what the hope of heaven has to do with life here and now.
We were in the midst of a remodeling project, adding a new portion onto our home. The plastic sheeting between the present living space and the new addition was only minimally effective. Sawdust and drywall dust still found their way through somehow. The mud from around the new foundation seemed to take great delight in sneaking into the house on the shoes of our children. Once inside, of course, it loosed its hold on the shoes and dropped off onto the floors. Everywhere.
Obviously these newfound supplies of dust and grime were a major source of frustration for my wife. At times she gritted her teeth and smiled. Other times were worse. Then, one beautiful summer day the sun shone brightly through the windows and illuminated not only the fresh layer of dust on the furniture, but also the airborne particles that had yet to find their way to the furniture. My wife peered through the plastic sheeting at the place where our soon-to-be family room was located and thought, “Soon it will all be over and we’ll be able to enjoy our home without all the mess.”
As these thoughts passed through her mind she realized that this is how our hope of heaven should affect our lives now. Although there are trials and tribulations in this life—situations that make us uncomfortable and maybe even irritable—as we look forward to the promise of our new home—our real home in heaven—we can face those things with assurance that they are just fleeting inconveniences. Even in the midst of present-day difficulties, we can still worship the Lord because of the hope of heaven.