I have a cat who lives a good life. He’s curled up next to me trying to stay warm. My cat is very human in many ways and relates with us easily. I’ve observed that animals that spend much quality time with people develop personalities that rise to the level of having human qualities. It is the same way with us and God. We are made in His image, but separated irreconcilably by the Fall, but beyond hope God has fully reconciled us to Himself. It becomes my choice to love Him and spend time with Him or maintain a mixture of many loves. This choice will probably affect my experiences in heaven.
As human as my cat is, he can’t conceive music. Normally he notices the slightest sounds around the house, but he cares absolutely nothing about music. His mind and spirit cannot receive all of the joys of listening, performing, writing, and experiencing music in all its dimensions. Music is a wonderful gift my cat simply can’t receive or enjoy. He’s a perfectly happy cat, but he doesn’t know what he doesn’t know.
I think that when people arrive in heaven, each will be ecstatically joyous and profoundly impacted. But what if there are additional joys that those who were more lovesick for God on Earth will enjoy – joys like music that add so much more depth to our relationships with God but which are unknown to those without a heart to go deeper? What joys will I miss out on for eternity because I lived comfortably on Earth, being unwilling to respond to God with the same passion He demonstrated for me? I know there are greater gifts for some in heaven, and there are greater levels of stewardship for those who managed their talents well – so now I wonder if this concept taught by my cat might be one of the forms this differentiation takes. Do I want to have a cat-level understanding of God for eternity, or that of a fully-mature man because I invested at great risk the talents God gave me?
God can easily blind the disobedient and the unloving to not see, and we as humans are stuck not knowing what we don’t know. We don’t know how good goodness can be, and we can’t conceive all of the depths of the love of God without revelation, as Paul prays for in Ephesians. This morning I was struck by God’s words in Isaiah 29:9-16 regarding the blindness of the disobedient, and I remember the warning of God handing over people who did not love the truth over to delusion in 2 Thess. 2.
I know that such thoughts are not to occupy our main time. The parable of the servants hired at the 11th hour who were paid the same wages is closer to the heart of God than discussions of who is greater or lesser in heaven. The point of this post is to encourage myself to consider my ways, and to see in my spirit the loss in eternity of avoiding heartbreak and loss here on Earth for Jesus’ sake. Indeed those who give up their lives here for Him will truly find it.
God shares His secrets with those lovesick for Him, who lay down their lives so others can find Him and who invest their time in the prayer closet over years of obedience. Cornelius was answered after many years of prayer. I work with an older woman who is a living example of Jesus or Paul or any great saint of the past, who has shared secret after secret of the heart of God.
And I wonder how much more has not been said yet. I want to know all there is to know of God, and I know the price I need to pay to hear His secrets. Lord, make me willing and desirous to go all the way.