Years ago, knowing our children were coming, Nanci and I prepared a place for them. We chose the room, picked out the right wallpaper, decorated and set up the crib just so, selected the perfect blankets. The quality of the place we prepared for our daughters was limited only by our skills and resources and imaginations.
Since our Lord isn’t limited in any of those categories, and since He loves us even more than we love our children, what kind of a place can we expect Him to have prepared for us? It will simply be the best place ever made by anyone and for anyone.
God Himself prepared mankind’s first home on Earth. “Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. And the Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food” (Genesis 2:8-9). The phrase “planted a garden” shows God’s personal touch, His intimate interest in the creative details of mankind’s home.
In the same way that God paid attention to the details of the home He prepared for Adam and Eve in Eden, Christ is paying attention to the details as He prepares for us an eternal home in Heaven: “My Father’s house has many rooms . . . I am going there to prepare a place for you” (John 14:2, NIV). If He prepared Eden so carefully and lavishly for mankind in the six days of creation, what has He fashioned in the place He’s been preparing for us in the two thousand years since He left this world?
Our home is being built for us by the Carpenter from Nazareth. Building is His trade. A good carpenter envisions what he wants to build. He plans and designs. Then he does his work, carefully and skillfully fashioning it to exact specifications. He takes pride in the work he’s done and delights to show it to others. And when it’s his own children or his bride he’s made it for, he takes special delight!
A. W. Tozer wrote, “Did you ever stop to think that God is going to be as pleased to have you with Him in heaven as you are to be there?”
Incredible as it seems, Jesus desires our company. Your new home, liberated from sin, curse, and suffering, is nearly ready for you (and one day will be located on the New Earth, our ultimate and eternal home).
Moving day is coming.
God preparing a place for each of His children is the theme of a poem titled “Preparations,” sent to me by reader Kelsey Dillon. She says, “I read your book Heaven last year and was inspired by it to create a poem.”
Thank you, Kelsey:
I went into my nursery earlier and couldn’t help but smile
At the already constructed wooden crib wrapped in a fitted sage sheet
A horizontal frame for the yellow newborn gown spread smoothly atop
Complete with a tiny white stretchy cap nestled a few inches above
Unfilled at present, but ready for an impending resident
I’ve been waiting for you for a very long time, you see
Waiting for the day when I could get this room ready
It’s almost there, but not quite
So as much as I long for you to be here, to rock you in this chair,
To nuzzle your nose while you kick and squirm on the changing table
And coo and giggle, or maybe just hiccup all night long
You can’t come
It’s not quite ready
Not fully prepared
Give me a month or two and I’ll be ready to get you
And bring you home to a place you’ve never known
But I hope will feel familiar
And you’ll open your eyes and see the joy in the faces
You won’t recognize, but by the clearer tones
Of mumbled speech you only heard in part from the inside
You’ll start to make sense
Of a world you could have never imagined
But that has been waiting in great anticipation of you
And of watching you become
And nothing you could have done
Would make us more thrilled to welcome you in
I can’t wait for you to be home
And this thought caused my thinking to shift from thoughts of you to thoughts of You
I started to wonder what Your nursery might look like
With no scarcity of resources and no fear of spoiling the loved one
What would you have done?
How over-the-top have you already gone?
Do you wander around the empty halls
Of heaven’s city imagining what it will be like to hear
The laughter of Your children echoing throughout the walls?
Do you smile at the decorations you’ve picked out or I suppose concocted brand new?
And grin at the thought of holding us close each night?
Do you stand back and think “That’s not quite right, perhaps just a little to the left…ah, now that’s perfect! Very good.”
Have you lined the shelves with toys and treats and adventures that will captivate our imaginations?
Does your heart skip a beat when you look into our rooms?
Do you crave the joy of seeing our wonder as we discover all the preparations you’ve made
That will not be exhausted for trillions of years?
‘Streets paved with gold’ I suspect is a bit modest
A vast understatement of the splendor
By a tickled Father with no limitations, waiting to at last bring His babies home
And when I come, will I blink slowly, overwhelmed by colors I’ve never seen before and whose brilliance will take such getting used to, I can’t even keep my eyes open for more than a second or two
Seeing your face for the first time, will my heart beat slower, finally at rest
Snuggled on your bosom? Will there be skin-to-skin in heaven?
Where I not only hear your heart beating, but am wrapped up by the tangible warmth of your very Presence that regulates my breathing?
At last able to see in full what I only felt in part
Beholding a home I’d never known, but that would undoubtedly be familiar to my heart
The vague murmurings of such I could recall from my time in darkness
A place I’ve known all along
And never known at all
And even then, after opening my eyes,
Could I imagine all the all-satiating delights
Has Your patient waiting made our impending meeting that much sweeter in anticipation?
I hear you saying, “Just hang on a little bit longer. I can’t wait to bring you home, but it’s not quite ready for you and you’re not quite ready for it. Stay there, my little love. I know it’s dark and the more you grow, the more stuck you feel, but you’re yet premature. Another month or two and I’ll come get you. When you’re ready and so am I, then the preparations will be complete. And I will stand eagerly at the bedside while you arrive through the agony of the darkest night.
I can’t wait for you to be home.”
“Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his faithful servants” (Psalm 116:15).
Browse more resources on the topic of Heaven, and see Randy’s related books, including Heaven.
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Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over sixty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries.