And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 23:6
Ask a college student why they are eager to go home on Spring Break and all kinds of answers emerge. Sleep in. See their dog. Eat their favorite foods. Go to their favorite local places with friends. What might be far down on the list is spending time with their parents.
But heaven? My Father is the center of my joy and the source of all other pleasures. The feasting, prepared by God’s own hands, is depicted earlier in this Psalm. Oil that runs abundantly over His child’s head is also described. All of this portrays lavish hospitality in the Near Eastern culture. This is a Father who satiates His children with unfathomable abundance. David says elsewhere, in his prayer to God, that he feasts on the abundance of God’s house and basks in the rivers of His delights.
The word ‘delights’ is built from the same root word for Eden! Paradise restored, indeed. Our ending is only a new beginning. I shouldn’t be calling death the ‘end of life stage.’ It is the ‘embryo for new-life-stage.’
It doesn’t feel good to go home and be treated like a guest; limits and a certain formality prevail. I’m not free to roam and fully relax. I can’t get a drink or fix myself a meal without it being offered. Or, I know I have to ask for it. I will not be a guest in the house of the Lord. I will be home. God’s lavish hospitality is poured out on sons and daughters.
Someone once said, “As I travel along in this world, I’m in awe of many things, like the colors I see in autumn or the flowers that bloom in spring. To me, there is no kind of awesome apart from what home can bring, like returning to wake in my old bed to hear the birds sweetly sing.” We might assume that to experience nostalgia, we have to have known it from previous experience. Ah, but that is the grand mystery of heaven. We are going home and although we’ve never been there, it will feel familiar. All along, this eternity was put in our hearts.
I can’t wait, God. Amen