Longing for Heaven

I have been struggling with writers block recently and while I want to start writing on certain topics, my mind is unable to pull together the information that I need for those items. Instead, here I am writing a personal story on things that continue to affect my life.
A few months ago, I went to the doctor to get checked out on a pain I was feeling in my groin. As a person who doesn’t like to go to the doctor, my visit meant that I was in a lot of pain. It’s funny how my mind immediately goes to thinking the worst when it comes to my health. Because of the location of the pain, my mind went into overdrive with worst-case scenarios. Thankfully, by the grace of God it ended up being just an infection that was helped with some antibiotics.
Tomorrow I go for a similar pain, a pain that feels more like a groin pull or strain. This pain is coupled with nauseous stomach and discomfort. In addition, I am starting to feel like it is a reoccurring issue that pops up every few weeks. The moment I threaten myself with going to the doctor it goes away. This time, I have decided to listen to my body before something serious happens. Listening seems to be a theme right now. I struggle with that when it comes to being still and listening to God.
For some reason, pain and discomfort seem to be a parallel theme since Rachel and I have moved to Illinois. This has been a 9 months filled with all sorts of sickness and illnesses for us both. Many of which we were never prepared for. Never in my life have I had to deal with this many issues regarding my health. It is easy for me to get down on myself and think “I can’t even remember the last time I actually felt good.” That part of me starts to think of all the days of hurting and somehow merging them together into a big glob of not feeling well. I start trying to remember what it is like to feel good and not have to deal with the pain, hurt or sickness. It becomes a cave that just goes deeper and deeper into feeling sorry for myself.
While that may be what I am dealing with, on the other side there are so many that deal with hurts and pains that are so great that I can’t even comprehend their pain each day. The hard part is seeing my wife struggle with pain on a regular basis. She wasn’t diagnosed with her disease until a few months ago but it was a rough few months filled with all sorts of possible diseases that are thankfully out of the picture.
The thing is, I hope and pray that every ounce of pain makes me yearn and long for heaven more. I hope that every piece of discomfort would focus me on that place that is full of no more. What beautiful words those are when I start to think of it. No more pain, no more guilt, no more shame, no more evil, no more death, no more body breaking down, no more attacks, no more sin. No more. Just peace. Brilliant, beautiful peace. In a land full of rest. A place where I am finally home. Where I finally belong. Where everything I long for, crave, desire finally gets fulfilled. Where I stop trying to fulfill it in things of this world. Where I stop trying to get my satisfaction from power, my worth from money and how much we have, my value from what I have done. What a beautiful land. A land that my Savior awaits me. Where he paid the price by taking the full wrath of God that I cannot even begin to comprehend. I cannot understand just how much that cost and how painful that was. Even if everything in this land of heaven was taken away (Thankfully it won’t be), if it was just us believers and Jesus, how amazing it is that He is all we need. He is heaven. That is the greatest and most precious treasure.
Honestly I struggle with that sometimes. I start thinking more of the treasures and rewards and forget that all those things don’t matter. What matters is that I am finally home with my Lord who brings me in to see the Holy Father. Who because of Christ I can now call my Father. To be in His presence is amazing and beyond compare. That is all we really need and want.
One of the hardest things when I am faced with pain is to focus on things in the future, to focus on heaven. I get so caught up in the here and now of the pain or chaos of life. I hate that way too many times I get caught up in the things of this world. Focusing on God and being heaven minded seems to be a huge teaching right now and a discussion for another time. But it is hard. Real hard in fact to take my focus of the pain and turn that to Christ.
As I lay in bed last night at 3 in the morning trying to go to sleep but dealing with discomfort no matter which way I turn, my mind starts to race and worry. Every piece of discomfort now amplified. Every hurt is now exponentially more painful. As I write, I wish instead that every pain or every beautiful sunset would amplify my love for God. Oh how I want to be more in tune with my God.
As the discomfort continues and I become angrier at the fact that I am awake, I hear the gentle whisper of the Gospel reminding me of the important principle of fighting worry. A verse that became so important to me during Rachel’s pain, it kept going through my thoughts in the early morning hours. Finally, I knew that is what I had to do. The verse was Philippians 4:6-7 which says: “6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
I don’t know what the future holds, or even the next few minutes, but in all things I submit to God. I submit this pain and this body for Him to use for His glory. Life isn’t easy. It will hurt, be full of pain. Hardships may not be quick or easy, but God will get me through this. It is hard to give things away, especially anxiety and worry, but I am trusting God with it all. He is in control.

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