Good evening! My devotional tonight is penned by my friend, Frank Myer. Frank and I went to Harding University together and our folks did the same several decades previously. Frank writes a weekly devotional called Friday From Frank and he has graciously loaned me several of his excellent pieces! Please continue to pray for me in Vietnam! Good Morning,
Another day on Earth, or maybe heaven. If you’re lucky, there’s a little heaven on earth.
There are quite a few aspects about heaven. There are lots of questions I have about heaven.
Recently, over the last few years, I’ve shifted my thinking about heaven. Some of the ideas are pretty good, others, may not be bright ideas, but they’re mine. I enjoy them.
The easiest part of heaven is to go for the physical aspect of heaven. Pearly Gates. Streets of gold. No night there. The light will come from God. Apparently, there will be lots of singing.
I’ll end on that note.
The other topic, or say, perspective of heaven has just dawned on me the last few years.
Wade Hodges, our preacher at church, mentioned one Sunday the Lord’s Prayer. Most of us know it. At least the first few lines.
Our Father, who art in heaven
Hallowed be thy name.
Depending you who are, the following words get drowned out faster than someone trying to sing “Louie, Louie” at karaoke night.
A few lines down, in this prayer is a phrase.
Let your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
We tend to blow past that, or use it as a hint to do what God wants us to do so we make it into heaven.
Like ordering a set of Ginsu Knifes before midnight, “Wait, there’s more.”
Let’s think about this a minute. Let God’s will be done on earth like it is in heaven.
What’s heaven like?
Forget the gold streets.
What is heaven like concerning how people deal with each other?
There may be a hint in Galatians 5: 22,23
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
This what it’s like even with people milling about in heaven. Love. Joy. Peace. Forbearance. Can you believe it? Forbearance? In Heaven?
Now, imagine if we could replicate those characteristics here on earth.
We have. I’ve witnessed it for myself. I’ve lived it.
The Smiths and the Myers have known each other since 1957. There are nine kids between the two families. Smiths, 5, the Myers, 4.
There have been growth pains. There have been times when the families moved apart from each other. There have been times when one family sent some of their kids to the other family to live for a while.
There have been hundreds of Sunday services shared. Many VBS summer events. Vacation Bible School for those not in the know.
Camp Manatawny is shared experience.
There have been too many meals to count, shared between the families.
There has been heartbreak. I have a letter my mother wrote to Mrs. Jean Smith with a birth announcement. Inside is a two-page letter telling about the frightening details of the health scare Melinda had as an infant. She almost didn’t make it.
Do we agree on everything? Not even close. Some topics cause a wide variety of thoughts and ideas. On some of these ideas, we’re at opposite ends of the spectrum. At the end of the day, we’re still close.
What we do agree on? We love each other.
We have shared many, many laughs. Cried too many tears, but we’re still here, the ones that are left, and we truly feel a little bit of heaven.
At my parents 50th anniversary party, Mr. Smith and Dad were standing side by side as people were leaving and the tables were being cleared. This was 12 years ago. I still remember it.
One turned to the other and said, “We created an eternal memory tonight.”
Our families are adding spouses, losing spouses, adding kids, losing children. Still the Smith and the Myers are friends.
Monday was Virgil Smith’s funeral. He was 87. Dad was 84 when he left on December 22nd. I have no doubt in my mind the two of them are up there now talking, and if Mr. Smith has anything to do with it, having a cup of coffee.
Here’s what I’ve noticed. People tend to find all sorts of reasons why they can’t be friends with other folks. Then they wonder why they wrestle with feelings of loneliness.
People want to feel connected. People want to know they are accepted.
It’s when we treat each other like God expects us to treat others that we begin to feel a little bit of heaven.
We often joke about what our room will look like in the mansions above and beyond. This is not to be confused with Bed, Bath, & Beyond. That’s different.
The older I get, the less I care about streets of gold. I don’t care which of the gates I walk through. Who cares if it’s made of pearls, or stucco?
I want to see dad again. I want David, Bobbly, Steven and I to laugh about the dumb stuff we did in high school. Not that there was much. I want to relive the time Bob and I chatted about life as we strolled the Smithsonian.
We can track down Samson and find out just how good looking Delilah was that he was willing to fall for her charms, three times.
I want to see the Elams, another family from the church I grew up in. Jack Bower, I can’t wait to see you. Greg Anderson, I’m holding you to your promise to come back and say “Hi.”
If I get assigned a small apartment, and have to wear a baseball cap instead of a crown, that’s okay with me.
As wonderful as the friendship is between the Smiths and the Myers, and thankfully lots of other people, is, heaven will be better.
How much better?
That we can talk about when we get there.
Enjoy the ride, Frank Myer
P.S. – Like a lot of other lessons of life, this is simple to relate, and excruciatingly hard to execute. We have so many motivations, emotions, thoughts, and patterns when dealing with others. Take a moment and work to create kindness.
The sharpest pain I see is what folks do to other family members. It’s not designed to be like that.
What can you expect in a world where the first family had one son kill another over a religious argument? Think Cain and Able and the sacrifice.
If you have a good friend, let them know how much you cherish them. If you have a friend you haven’t talked to in a long time, call them. Send them a note.
And when it comes to families, there are some out there so damaged and bruised, they may never be repaired. Do what you can. Be kind. Say a prayer.
Look for heaven here on earth. It’s here.
P.P.S – When I describe our friendship people are impressed. When is the best time to start a friendship like this? 60 Years ago.When is the second-best time? Today God bless, Steve Luke 18:1
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