We’ve all been there, and it wasn’t pleasant. We’ve all been victims of the vacation slideshow. Being subjected to picture after picture of the same people with the same smiles standing in front of different tourist spots can be brutal. Then there are the scenery pictures with no people in them, just trees and various land formations. Your friends who are showing you the pictures usually sense that multiple scenery pictures may be boring, so they will usually say something like, “It’s so much more beautiful in person.” We know this is true even though we didn’t go on vacation with them because we’ve been where they are, trying to convince our friends how breath-taking something is when you’re standing before it in the flesh.
On those days when life is so hard that you feel like throwing in the towel on this whole Christian thing, it helps to remember this about heaven: it will be so much more beautiful in person. God has given us a picture in the Bible of the place that will one day be our home and it sounds wonderful, but our imaginations are limited and they can’t stretch to the full magnificence of what it will be like. We know that there will be no more tears or sadness or death, and in that place there will be no need for the sun or moon because the glory of God will give it its light (Revelation 21:4, 23). We know that Jesus, our loving Savior, is there right now preparing that place for us and in it there are many rooms, but we strain to think what this will be like to experience (John 14:2-3). But for right now, in the midst of this burdensome life let’s remember that just as a picture points to a more beautiful reality, so do the descriptions of heaven in the Bible, and because of Jesus’s sacrifice, believers will one day be there with him… in person.