Positioned on a grassy hill, looking down on the stage where the musicians sang and played with artistic fervor, my heart could not help but yearn for heaven.
Last night, my wife and I, along with her sister, had the joy of attending a large concert.
At one point, I peered out over the crowd. Thousands upon thousands of people were spread across the landscape, hands raised, bouncing, their faces aglow from the flashing lights.
At that moment, my thoughts were lifted heavenward, and my heart ached. There we were, fixed in a mass of people, singing with delight, and yet, the delight fell short. My heart wanted more.
I looked down on the stage. The musicians were no doubt talented, even exceptionally so, but they were not worthy of worship. They were mere men, fallible like the rest of us.
What we want is an object of praise that deserves our highest adoration, one that exceeds our limits of expectation. And so I cannot help but think of God in those instances.
What a joy it will be to gather around the throne of the One who is truly worthy of worship- the One to whom we can sing and not feel the slightest sense of restraint, as if we should hold back because of some imperfection.
The crowd roared.
I then thought about the people around me. It was a fairly tame crowd, by concert standards, but there was still drunkenness and impurity about. In such places, feelings of uneasiness inevitably bite at me.
What would it be like if I knew all those people, and could trust all those people, and share brotherly affection with all of them? And what if they all felt the same way about me? Oh, how the sweetness of the event would increase! No need to keep an eye on my wife’s purse. No fear. No sin. Perfect unity. Complete trust.
As I stood on the side of that hill, that’s where my thoughts went. I pictured the countless myriads of saints stretching as far as the eye can see. I imagined the singularity of voice as we sing for joy before the Lamb. I thought of how the spotlights and fog will be replaced with the glory of Him who lives in unapproachable light. I shuddered with wonder at the thought of eternity, and how the concert of praise, in one form or another, will continue on forever and ever, time without end. And then I thought how each of us will have backstage passes, so to speak; how there will be no barrier of unfamiliarity standing between us and the One at the center. We will not be strangers to Him. We will all be able to draw near. And He will gladly receive us.
In a word, the human heart desires perfection, and only God can fill that gap.
And so, in the end, we did in fact have a very enjoyable time. Well worth the price of admission. Nevertheless, such events feel somewhat like an appetizer, or a tease.
The heart always yearns for more.