Summary: Tears bridge the gap between great beauties and great horrors. In heaven there will be no more horrors. Yet the beauties will be never ending, and never boring.
3. And I heard a big voice from heaven saying, Look, the tabernacle of God is with humanity, and He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God Himself will be with them-their God.
4. And He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death will no longer exist, nor mourning, nor crying, nor pain, they shall no longer exist, for the first things are gone.
5. And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making all things new. And He said, write, for these are the faithful and true words.”
Comfort for the Crying
Have you ever been so overwhelmed that you couldn’t help but cry? What is it that makes us cry? The death of a loved one, news tragedy among people we know and even those we don’t, betrayal by someone we love or thought loved us, pain, profound incomprehensible sorrow, our own falleness, failure. Our eternal home in the presence of God will have none of those things. Even beautiful things can spur tears. I’ve seen a mother go through the pains of childbirth without tears, but weep hot tears of joy when the baby is born. I’ve cried when I’ve seen my students accomplish great things. I can’t help but feel maybe those tears will still be there, and there’s simply no need to wipe them-there is no shame for such tears there.
And what brings us excitement? Life, particularly new life, novel experiences, beauty, humor, genuine smiles on the faces of those we love, anticipation of reunion, celebrations. It seems that God’s home is all that all the time. All good emotion and experience will be exalted and sanctified there. C. S. Lewis, as usual, said this beautifully in the words of one of the characters in his book The Great Divorce. In it a man is transported from hell to heaven. There he meets a mentor who is sent to instruct him and guide him to glory (the mentor is one of Lewis’ favorite authors). That character says,
"ye cannot in your present state understand eternity...That is what mortals misunderstand. They say of some temporal suffering, "No future bliss can make up for it," not knowing that Heaven, once attained, will work backwards and turn even that agony into a glory. And of some sinful pleasure they say "Let me have but this and I'll take the consequences": little dreaming how damnation will spread back and back into their past and contaminate the pleasure of the sin. Both processes begin even before death. The good man's past begins to change so that his forgiven sins and remembered sorrows take on the quality of Heaven: the bad man's past already conforms to his badness and is filled only with dreariness. And that is why...the Blessed will say “We have never lived anywhere except in Heaven”, and the Lost, “We were always in Hell.” And both will speak truly."
? C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce
Tears bridge the gap between great beauties and great horrors. In heaven there will be no more horrors. Yet the beauties will be never ending, and never boring.
Prayer for Today
Give me the perspective of heaven-the understanding that the world is not as it seems to be-the vision that the best this world has to offer reminds us of that ultimate home You call us to. The worst of the world is a dim reflection of kingdoms that will no longer exist in Your presence, in Your home.
Prepare us, LORD, to live in Your presence, but purging from us, even now, those elements of our hearts and lives that fail to lift us toward You.
In the name of Jesus, who left Your glorious presence, to give us the Path to reach You.
v. 3 Dwelling of God Lev 26:11-12; 2 Chr 6:18; Eze 37.27; Zch 2.10; 2 Cor 6:16 The dwelling is skene, related to the Hebrew word Shekinah (Lev 26:11-12; Jer 31:33; Eze 37:27; Zech 8:8; Jn 1:14).
v. 4 No tear, death, pain 7:17; Is. 25.8 They have no sorrow (Is 35:10; 65:19; Rev 7:16-17), and no death (Gen 3; Rom 5:12; Heb 2:15; 9:27; Is 25:8; 1 Cor 15:54).
v. 5 Throne Ps 47.8; Is 6.1; Eze 1.26-27; Rev. 4.2-9, etc.