This past Sunday afternoon, Jill and I spent two hours in a Southeastern Salvage store with Blair and her family. While Jill and our son-in-law Steve looked for countertops and floor tile, Graham, my six-year-old granddaughter led me from department to department as she designed a horse barn. “We will have four stalls—boy, girl, boy, girl. And a tack room, and a place to hang helmets, and a—” On and on it went for two hours as we picked out flooring and talked about layout and detail, as if we were rich enough to build one.
As Graham prepared and designed her horse barn, it had me thinking of the way Christ says he is preparing a place for us in heaven. “My Father’s house has many rooms … I am going there to prepare a place for you” (John 14:2). And somewhere in heaven, Christ is leading a builder or a designer by the hand and revealing his plan for our room so all things will be pleasing to our eye and lend to our comfort, because God has a house and we have a room in it.
What is God’s house really like? Is it a hotel-like structure with long corridors? Does it have many floors? Is it as big as NY City or as huge as the universe? No one really knows. But we are promised a room there. And I hope you are my neighbors. I hope to see you each morning as we open our doors and retrieve the morning paper on our doorsteps. I hope to see you in the grand ballroom and in the kitchen and out on the lawn. I hope it is a place where I can be myself. My real self. Not the one I wish I could be or the one I think I should be, but the one I’ve always been destined to become. That one. The one without shame, guilt, sin, regret, boredom, envy and strife. I want to be the person that loves much because I feel the love of Christ coming from just down the hall. I want to be in my room where I can feel safe, where I know the peace of God rules just outside my door.
The problem with a room in heaven is the thought of moving from our present house. We kind of like it here. It’s comfortable. We love our décor. The old chair in front of the television makes it hard to get up and go to bed at night. This world has a way of making us comfortable.
When I married Jill, and moved into her parent’s basement, Sanford, her father took me to the top of the stairs and said, “Now, Robbie, I’m head of the household, and you are head of the basement.” It sounded good to me until I discovered that head of the household controlled the thermostat, and there were nights of sweat and other nights of chills. And I’m sure there are things we won’t control in our rooms. Some things won’t change. God will remain the Father, and we will remain his children. His mansion—my room. His will—my submission. This won’t ever change.
But we will learn more about him. We will see where Christ grew up and where yellow ribbons were tied when he went off to war with evil on earth. We will see the rooms of other saints and where our kinfolk live. Maybe Charles Haddon Spurgeon will live two doors down from me. And I’ll hear Bono singing in the shower and see Elvis eating a fried peanut butter and banana sandwich.
But mostly we will be on the lookout for Christ’s presence. We’ll stand on our balconies and watch him pass by as the royalty he is. Heaven will be full of his glory, but so will our prepared rooms. Each one will reveal the way he thinks about us and how he loves us. It’ll be in the colors he chooses, and in the paintings he’ll hang on the walls. Our rooms will say something about the way Christ sees us and how uniquely he loves us. Maybe the questions we’ve had during our lifetime will be answered in the detail of the room. Maybe he will leave behind notes and we will discover secrets about ourselves each day as we live and move and have our being in our prepared room. Maybe there will be doors of exploration. Maybe he will come and sit on our couch and—like a program on HGTV—tell us why he chose this design and that décor.
How thrilling it will all be one day when we see what he has prepared for us. This is the joy we can anticipate because this is how much he loves us. So why are you downcast? Why do you feel neglected by God? Moving time is coming. Christ is preparing a place for you. And it is fully-furnished and rent-free! How great is that? Think about it and have a blessed day!