The other day I wanted Heaven. Like really, really wanted it.
I wanted all that I know to be true about it.
I wanted perfection. And purity. And health. And right. And full. And joy.
No problems. No pain. No tears. No wrong. No lack. No loss.
I just really wanted Heaven. For me and for so many others.
I've noticed these times of longing happen periodically. But mostly, whenever I'm sensing lack or loss. Which is where I was. Which in some ways is where I still am.
An experience or a reminder and that earthly feeling of emptiness settles in my soul and I don't like it. I don't like empty or lack or loss.
I like full. I like a full belly after a meal. A full pantry after a trip to the grocery store. A calendar full of activities. A full bank account. Full experiences. Full opportunities. I don't like empty.
I didn't like it seven years ago this month when we had one of our most profound losses. When one day we were celebrating life. And weeks later, mourning loss. When hope and expectation filled my womb, only to be followed by emptiness. When the label "miscarried" replaced "pregnant".
And I still don't like empty today.
According to wise Solomon, "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven." (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
If I take the fullness in one season, I have to be able to deal with the lack in another.
Last week, my girls stayed home with a babysitter while my husband and I attended a meeting at church. When we got home, we received a not-so-great report from my oldest daughter about our youngest daughter's behavior.
On two different occasions, she acted out because things didn't quite go her way.
She didn't want to take her turn being "IT" during a game of tag. Then in the midst of trying to decide on a movie to watch, she expressed her discontent because she lost a round of "Eeny, meeny, miney, moe" as well as "Whoever guesses the number gets to choose"--two well-played attempts by our sitter to be fair about the selection process.
This isn't the first time we've seen our youngest behave this way. She's a six year old who doesn't like to lose (I mean, what six year old does?). As her parents, one of our present tasks is helping her learn to deal with loss and not grow up with a "sore loser" label attached to her cute little forehead.
As my husband and I sat in her room that night explaining her offense and discussing consequences with her, I felt the Spirit nudge me, too.
How are you dealing with your current losses?
With fussing? Complaining? Pouting? With a disagreeable spirit? With a "That's not fair" attitude?
Or with acceptance? And patience? And prayer?
As I wrestled this out with the Lord, I asked, "What do I do with all of this? When I see loss and lack in my world and in others' worlds? When Heaven is not an option right now, Lord?"
His quiet, but clear response was this...
He gives life. And He promises to give it to the full.
Then suddenly a flood of other reminders rushed at me.
All reminders that my Father's speciality is fullness.
These empty, filled with loss, moments and seasons have the potential for great purpose.
But only if we take them to the One whose fullness can crowd them out.
So that's what I'm asking during this season.
Father, fill me with Your fullness. Let it crowd out the empty places. The places where I see and feel lack and loss. Help me not to be a sore loser. And may I be content on the days when I really just want Heaven. Thank you for coming. Thank you for promising life to the full.