Lately, parenthood has had me thinking about heaven. Sometimes having kids feels a lot like heaven and sometimes - just sometimes - it feels a bit like the opposite.
Not really. Or, at least, that's not why I'm thinking about heaven.
I've been thinking about it because maybe little kids' desires show that we were designed for heaven. They aren't yet cognizant of the current earthly reality that "all good things must come to an end." For a toddler, perpetual enjoyment of one's current activity seems like a reasonable request. T will sob "Mo' grandma, mo' grandpa" when we leave the grandparents' house, even if he just spent all day there. More snow. More Curious George. More reading at bedtime. Mo' balls. Mo' play. Mo' cars.
I'm used to thinking, "Oh, come, Lord Jesus" when I read a friend's moving account of his dog's demise from cancer. When spouses die or otherwise leave. When children precede their parents. When evil seems to overcome. When the waves do overwhelm. Even when I am - as I was yesterday morning in our corporate confession - painfully reminded of my remaining sin. Oh God, come and take it all away. I tire of our world's suffering and my small faith. Come, Lord Jesus, come.
But heaven isn't just no more tears.
As John Piper has said numerous times, the best part of heaven is being with Jesus. I wonder if we won't even really be aware that our suffering has faded away because our joy in Christ's glory will be all-consuming.
When we left church yesterday, I passed C, one of T's fellow two-year-olds, in his mom's arms with a tear glimmering on his cheek. The tear, mom explained, was because he was sad he couldn't watch the big kids play in the gym anymore; it was time to go home. "Yeah," C chimed in, "I so sad."
Again it hit me: our hearts were actually designed for an endless experience of joy. The toddler's tears are because he has had the tiniest taste of heaven. Oh, come Lord Jesus, and fill this thirsty earth with eternal joy. Mo' singing. Mo' dancing. Mo' fun than our hearts dare imagine.