Wednesday, October 8, 2008

What Are the Realities of Heaven for a Mom?

Colossians 3:1-4 says, "Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God's right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory." (NLT)

Or in my husband's favorite translation (NKJV) this text reads:

"If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory."

So . . . during the day that begins at the butt-crack of dawn, with a baby latched on, another tugging at his soggy diaper, and the eldest frantically jumping, all the while tripping over the everpresent dog that is underfoot and random MatchBox cars, how does a Mommy set her sights on the realities of heaven, when there is so much demand her on earth for her attention?

According to Strongs Concordance the Greek word "above" is ἄνω, ἀνεγκλησία [ano /an·o/], for all of you scholars, has the following several definitions: 1 up, upwards, above, on high. 2 of the quarters of the heaven, northward. 3 of countries, inland, up from the coast. 4 of time, formerly.

I don't think this verse is refering to the coastline, but indeed somewhere up above, on high, where our new home awaits us upon Christ's return. Of the four times used in the NT, this particular Greek word is used once to refer to Jerusalem, "But the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all," (Galatians 4:26, obviously out of context right now). So what is in heaven? What are the things above versus the things below?

Upon a quick perusal, I think the answer lies in versus 12-16, which I will only briefly touch on because my boys are getting quite restless in their Quiet Time (meaning it isn't so quiet anymore). So I will leave you with this verse, actually it is more for me, than you . . .

12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

So the realities of heaven translate to a very practical level for a mom--be merciful when disciplining, show kindness rather than irritation, humility by serving and not blowing out long sighs, longsuffering when folding the countless diaper in 4 years, forgive when annoyed and let it drop, be thankful that you have children and most importantly, whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.