It wasn’t the kind of setting where the thought would normally come to mind. But that’s what made it all the more striking.
As I drove to the trailhead of a Sabbath hike a couple of weeks ago, a song from Building 429 came up on my playlist. It’s called “Where I Belong” (you can listen to it here), and the chorus says this: “All I know is I’m not home yet. This is not where I belong. Take this world and give me Jesus. This is not where I belong.”
That encouraging idea is common in sermons and worship songs, and is meant to remind us that we are headed to a better place. It lifts us up when times are hard, assuring us that this difficult world is not our final destination. When we are discouraged and frustrated, when we find ourselves in places and circumstances that we would never choose, it gives hope for a better future. I’ve often needed that assurance. I imagine you have too.
But context changes everything. On that day, I wasn’t in a hard place. Far from it, in fact. The song came through my car speakers as I drove along the rim of the Grand Canyon in winter (the pics are from that day). There are few more stunningly magical places than a snowy Grand Canyon. It represents God’s work at its finest, and I love it.
At first the idea of a better future seemed out of place and unnecessary. “I wouldn’t mind if this place WERE my home! Why would I need that assurance HERE?”
But as I sang along to Building 429, I realized that the message was timely, and even important. Because even THAT majestic scene was not my true home! As beautiful as it was, it pales in comparison to what God has in store for those who put their trust in Jesus.
What an amazing idea. It’s going to be even BETTER than the Grand Canyon in winter!
That made me think of the Apostle Paul’s attempt 2000 years ago to describe what is ahead for the Christ-follower (1 Corinthians 2:9):
“What no eye has seen…” (You’ve never seen anything like it!)
“…what no ear has heard…” (No one can describe anything like it!)
“…and what no human mind has conceived…” (You can’t even imagine anything like it!)
“…the things God has prepared for those who love Him.”
It’s encouraging to know that the place Jesus is preparing for us is better than this world of sickness, and broken relationships, and political upheaval, and international tension, and war and drought and suffering and pain. But that’s a pretty low bar, isn’t it?
God’s future for us is not simply better than the worst that we have experienced. It exceeds the best that we have seen, and is far beyond the most that we could imagine!
I’ve seen a lot, and I have a pretty good imagination. So THAT is exciting news!
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