• 61°

Heaven will be enough for me

By DAVID WHITLOCK
Life Matters

“Do you want to finish this tour tomorrow?” I asked Lori. My wife and I were wilting.

As the weather forecaster would say, we had the three “h’s:” It was hazy, hot and humid. And we had just walked through a good portion of the gardens at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. Although we hadn’t done it, I at least felt like we had strolled up and down each and every path along the beautifully manicured gardens, a distance of 2.5 miles.

We immediately followed that walk with the self-guided tour of the Biltmore House, which includes three floors and a basement — 33 bedrooms, 65 fireplaces and 43 bathrooms — a staggering 175,000 square feet or four acres.

We had only toured the first floor.

“It’s our time away. We’re supposed to rest. Let’s stop here, go take nap, and come back tomorrow.”

She nodded her head in agreement.

On the bus back to our hotel, I thought about the estate and the house, the wonder of the house’s architecture, the details of the furnishings, the paintings — each one with a story — and the beautifully designed landscape. 

“I could spend over a week going through that place, examining all the details, and still not get to everything,” I thought as the bus neared our destination.

“And if it can take that long to go through a house located in one small place on this earth, a planet that’s just a tiny speck in the universe, how long would it take to explore the wonders of my heavenly home? It could take an eternity.”

“But, how long is that?” I continued to ponder, furrowing my brow. “It’s impossible to wrap your mind around eternity, so don’t try.”

The Apostle John had a vision, a revelation, of the end times, part of which includes a description of the New Jerusalem. He even gives its measurements: 1,400 miles in each direction, a cube shape. That in itself is mind-boggling, and that’s just one city in heaven.

To us, space is something that confines us, but heaven is perfect, so it will not be too big or too small. Such things as “time” and “space” will not have the same meaning in heaven as they do on earth, since heaven will be another dimension, not the same as planet earth.

Stepping off the bus with those thoughts swirling through my mind, I was definitely ready for that “vacation nap.”

And as I closed my eyes, my thoughts drifted away from the mystery of exploring heaven to simply resting there, at the feet of the person who created that place, Jesus the eternal Son of God. His presence in heaven is certain and all that will truly matter.

The Biltmore may be a magnificent place, and there are many such samples of wonder on this earth. But, I don’t go to those places to see anyone in particular. I go there only for a visit, for a tour. None are my home.

Heaven is different. The presence of the Lord makes the place what it is: heaven.

So important is Jesus’ presence there that the 19th century preacher, a former miner, who had lived a life of drunkenness and debauchery before his conversion, said: “I would rather be in Hell with Jesus than in Heaven without Jesus. For Hell with Jesus would seem just like Heaven to me, and Heaven without Jesus would seem just like Hell to me.”

I want to know more about heaven, but the most important fact about it is that Jesus will be there. 

And that’s heaven enough for me.