Call it the “light at the end of the tunnel” effect. Isn’t it amazing how much adversity we can stand if we can see an end to it? if we see that something really positive will come out of it? if the short-term sacrifice results in long-term gain?
I am thankful for heaven, and not just heaven someday. I am thankful for heaven right now because I have the sure knowledge that I am loved, forgiven, and immortal. St. Paul took a lot of abuse in his long ministry, but the bright glow ahead pulled him forward: “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18). The stooped and frail elderly will stand up straight. The muscles of people with fibromyalgia will never shriek with agony again. The blind will never again be in the dark 24/7. The deaf will hear and make music. Amputees will regain their limbs, and my friends with disabled legs will run like deer.
We don’t have to get everything now. So much of the pressure on our lives is the terror that we’re running out of time, have limited resources, and feel cheated if we don’t get all the experiences other people have. I am thankful for heaven, where time, friends, and adventures will have no limits.
After our first week there, you and I will say to each other, “Totally worth everything to be here.”