When I heard I was pregnant for the first time, I went straight from the doctor’s room to a department store and bought a tiny babygro and a pair of booties. We were so excited! My mother fished out her knitting needles and bought soft pastel wool. As time went by, we started preparing a nursery. There is so much equipment that a baby needs! We prepared the room with happiness and excitement. We even bought a fluffy star that had a recording of a mother’s heart beat to make the baby feel at home and secure.
My friends at that time were in a similar stage of life and reacted in the same way to the news of their pregnancy. Only the best for Their child!
Jesus said, “My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” (John14:3 NIV)
With as much excitement and anticipation as parents prepare a place for their expected baby, Jesus prepares a place for us. He knows what will comfort us, make us happy and make us feel welcome in our new home. Only the best will do for His child!
While parents are happily preparing a nursery for their baby, God is at work behind the scenes preparing the baby for his new home. The lungs need to be developed enough to be able to breathe this strange atmosphere. The baby needs to develop to readiness for birth.
In the same way, God is working with us to prepare us for heaven. As a line from that famous Christmas Carol, “Away in a manger,” says, …”and fit us for heaven to live with Thee there.”
The trials and tests we face are all part of the preparation. Paul says about suffering, “…we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” (Romans 5: 3b-5 NIV)
It’s not only suffering as we understand it, but disappointments, irritations, rejection, set-backs, dealing with persistent health issues or struggles, that grow our perseverance, character and hope.
God is the One who does the preparing. We can be sure that “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6 NIV)
Lord Jesus, it is comforting to know that You are preparing a place in heaven for me and You will welcome me one day. May I have Your point of view to be able to regard suffering and trials as part of Your loving preparation. I’m not there yet. Amen.