As the deer panteth for the water, so my soul longeth after Thee. Psalm 42:1
I want to go home. I look forward to being with my God in Heaven, long for it, ache for it—but one thing troubles me. We are to “rule” with Christ. This seems so far outside my talents and abilities in this world that I cannot imagine ever being able to do it, much less enjoy it.
But Heaven will be joy. I can’t reconcile this.
I’ve been reading Randy Alcorn’s book, Heaven. The first thing I did was scan the index, then go straight to the two chapters on animals in Heaven. Then I started back at the beginning. Last night he brought me up short on Page 221 with this: “Of course, not all positions of responsibility over others involve people. Adam and Eve governed animals before there were any other people. Some of us may be granted the privilege of caring for animals. Perhaps some will care for forests. Ruling will likely involve the management of all God’s creation, not just people.”
I put the book down and turned out the light, but sleep eluded me. Pictures of my new home raced through my mind: out on the hills with David, watching over my flock, writing songs and books and hymns of praise to my Father, just like David.
Hmmm, maybe not. I’m not that familiar with sheep…
I know! I’m traveling from flock to flock at Jesus’ side, checking on their welfare and visiting with their shepherds. As we walk together, I play for Him some exotic heavenly instrument made just for me. My dogs, all the dogs I’ve ever loved (Hey, it’s my fantasy) follow at our heels or race across the fields and back again.
No, even better, we ride side by side on matching white horses. Mine’s a sweet mare named Contentment At Last. I call her Ten. And her foals are Peace Everlasting, Here I Belong, and Home Forever.
When we come to one of Heaven’s mighty rivers, our horses leap over effortlessly. We enter the forest my best friend cares for—a forest of trees more luxurious than the cedars of Lebanon, loftier than the mighty Sequoias of California—and see herds of graceful deer eating from his hand. I lift my instrument and begin to play his favorite song. He turns to us, and the joy in his eyes matches my own. He lifts his trumpet to join me as Jesus sings, “As the deer panteth for the water, so my soul has longed for My children.”
Avi, my Father, thank You for the promise of a home with You. Thank You for paying the price to fulfill this promise. Amen.