The other night my 19 year old son and I were struggling. It comes without warning. You think you’re doing well, and then something reminds you of Grant, and you’re immediately overwhelmed with sadness, grief, longing. We cried, we shared memories, things we missed, moments we wanted to do over, and all of the things that we would never get to do with Grant. But as I was drying my eyes, and before the conversation turned to lighter discourse, he looked at me and said, “Yeah, but then there’s Heaven.”
I was so struck by that. I kept playing it over and over in my mind that night as I lay in bed. It was so simple and yet at the same time so profound. Every trial that we face here on Earth can instantly be put into proper perspective in light of that statement. That in no way means that there is not suffering, and pain. Losing Grant, has been devastating and the pain has been absolutely indescribable. But even that, in light of Heaven, an eternity filled with the glory of God, makes everything we suffer here on Earth, a momentary affliction in comparison.
I know that seems hard to believe. It’s hard for me to believe it, to even write it. But I think that’s because I really don’t comprehend how amazing, how incredibly glorious, how unimaginably awesome Heaven is going to be. God knows my suffering. He has counted every one of my tears, and yours. He knows every tear that has ever fallen, resulting from every dark, gruesome trial of mankind. And yet, He inspired Paul, to pen this…
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
God was well aware of the cosmic grief of all mankind throughout history, when he had Paul put these words to paper. And yet, if we compare those tears, all of that suffering, all of the countless broken hearts, to Heaven, our earthly trials will pale in comparison to the glory of an eternity with God. So this life will have tears, suffering, sadness, and pain, sometimes in unimaginable measure; “But then there’s Heaven!”