this side of heaven

Melissa @ awriteheart.comMy dad died this past August, and since then I remember things about him out of the blue…I remember how he loved putting cheese puffs in yogurt (ugh), how he played catch with me when I was my oldest daughter’s age, how he loved being with his family, and most of all how he loved music. Certain songs take me to a place where I feel like he’s right with me. He loved the great classics about heaven – “I’ll Fly Away” was one that he sang a lot, and this one:

This world is not my home, I’m just a-passing through
My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue;
The angels beckon me through heavens open door,
And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.

I loved hearing him sing those songs, but when I was a little girl I didn’t get it – why a person would sing such a thing when in between here and heaven’s open door is death.

As I’ve grown older, I’ve found more and more that the thought of breathing my last breath with this vessel of a body I’ve been given, and then in that same moment being born into eternal life in the presence of my Jesus who I’ve longed to see with my eyes for what seems like my whole life – well, it’s a welcome thought. I don’t wish death upon myself, nor do I look forward to separation from the people I love – I want to get old and wrinkly with my husband, and I want to see my kids grow into adulthood…I want them to have my love as long as they possibly can, for the sake of their happiness and security. But the thought of leaving this life doesn’t frighten me like it did, and I know that God loves my family infinitely more than I do – I trust Him with their futures more than I trust myself.

[pullquote type=”left”]Heaven will be amazing, not because of the streets of gold but because I can lift my eyes to see my Jesus.[/pullquote]Along with my fading fear has come an increasing homesickness…a longing to see the Savior that I’ve worshipped for the vast majority of my life. Almost every day the thought crosses my mind that if I could only sit as His physical feet, all would be well. That homesickness overwhelms me especially in difficult times, when I can’t help but see how very desperately I need Christ, and when I truly feel the weight of my little corner of the world on my shoulders. “I want to go home”, I say to Him…The tears come and I just wish I could see Him with my eyes. Heaven will be amazing, not because of the streets of gold but because I can lift my eyes to see my Jesus.

So in the meantime…

While we wait this side of eternity, what can we do on those days when we long for that eternal home? I think the thing that makes the most sense is to do the same thing that we will do when we get there – worship. In spirit and in truth we can worship Christ here, sing to Him in a loud voice here, shout His praises here, and lay our crowns at His feet here. Close your eyes and think of what it describes in Revelation, thousands times thousands singing the praise of Jesus, who conquered death to save us from our sin by His blood…Think of the throng like the roar of many waters, shouting hallelujah! I can’t wait, but in the meantime I will worship with the knowledge that I will spend all of eternity doing just that.


[pullquote type=”right”]Let this world fall away, and see nothing but Jesus if only for a few moments. Be grounded in Him, be centered in Him, lay this life at His feet.[/pullquote]Worship in times that try you and confuse you. Worship in times when sin overwhelms you. Worship in times when others forsake you. Worship in times when joy overflows. Worship in times of health and in times of sickness. Worship in times of plenty and in times of need. Worship in times of war and in times of peace. Worship when no one hears you, and when everyone is listening. Worship with emotion, with tears, with laughter, with your whole self. Let this world fall away, and see nothing but Jesus if only for a few moments. Be grounded in Him, be centered in Him, lay this life at His feet.

I wonder if my dad sings “That world WAS not my home” now that he’s home in heaven…but one thing I know for sure is that he’s worshipping. Just like me.

[custom_headline type=”right” level=”h3″ looks_like=”h3″ accent=”true”]In spirit and truth, Melissa[/custom_headline]


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6 thoughts on “this side of heaven

  1. Thanks Melissa for this beautiful post! I read this before I went to sleep last night and again this afternoon:) Love it!

    1. Ashley., I’m so sorry to hear that about your dad – there’s something about dads and daughters that’s so special. I’m thankful that we can worship through the things that are less-than-perfect about this life, and put things into an eternal perspective. Praying for you.

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