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Essays on Faith: What will we do in Heaven?

Preparing dinner was unusually difficult for me this evening. I don’t especially like to cook, and it seems I have more than my share of bad days in the kitchen. I burn my fingers, make unnecessary messes, overcook things and have trouble getting everything ready at the same time. My mother said I inherited this problem from my paternal grandmother.

When it was finally time to sit down and eat, I was feeling a little irritable and said to Mr. H., “When I get to Heaven, I hope they don’t put me on kitchen duty.” He laughed, and said, “I don’t think we’ll be needing food in Heaven, so you shouldn’t have to worry.”

“That’s good!” I answered. “That means no grocery shopping either! I hope I get to do something I love.”

“I’m sure each person will be allowed to do the things he or she loves,” he said, going along with my foolishness.

“That’s wonderful,” I said, “I love to read, but if I know everything after I die, there won’t be any reason to read, will there? And how will I write the stories I love to write?”

Smiling, Mr. H. said, “Uh-oh! That could be a problem. There will be no computers in Heaven.”

“Hmmmm ... how will people get along without computers?”

He shrugged.

Thinking a minute, I said, “I know! I love music. I’ll just sit around in Heaven all day listening to music. What could be better than that?” I was pleased with myself until it struck me ...

“But what will you do?” I said.

In his easy way, Mr. H. smiled and said, “Oh, I don’t know. I’m certain there’ll be something for me to do.”

And then I remembered something this man loves — little babies. Tiny infants just home from the hospital. He held and cuddled and rocked our five, and then he did the same when our grandchildren came along. He never tired of it.

“I’ve got it!” I told him. “Rocking sweet little babies would be the perfect job for you throughout eternity!”

He smiled, and my frivolous dinner conversation was over, leaving me in a much better mood.

Later, when I was alone and in a more serious frame of mind, I thought about that conversation and wondered aloud, “What will we do in Heaven?”

The thought aroused my curiosity and led me to do some research. Here’s what I found:

American Christian author and New York Times bestselling author, Randy Alcorn, says it best in one of his more than 60 books. It’s entitled “Heaven.”

“In Heaven,” he begins, “God’s presence will be all pervasive and anyone who has approached God’s presence knows the joy of such an encounter — the hint of glory and beauty beyond human comprehension. Revelation 21:23 — The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.”

The idea of working in Heaven is foreign to many people. Yet Scripture clearly teaches it. When God created Adam, he “took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it” (Genesis 2:15). Work was part of the original Eden. It was part of a perfect human life.

God Himself is a worker. He didn’t create the world and then retire. Jesus said, “My Father is always at His work to this very day, and I, too, am working” (John 5:17). Jesus found great satisfaction in His work. “‘My food,’ Jesus said, ‘is to do the will of Him who sent me and to finish His work’” (John 4:34).

We’ll also have work to do, satisfying and enriching work that we can’t wait to get back to, work that’ll never be drudgery. God is the primary worker, and as His image-bearers, we’re made to work. We create, accomplish, set goals and fulfill them — to God’s glory.

Sadly though, even among Christians, it’s a prevalent myth that Heaven will be boring.

Sometimes we can’t envision anything beyond strumming a harp and polishing streets of gold. Satan’s most basic strategy, the same one he employed with Adam and Eve, is to make us believe that sin brings fulfillment. However, in reality, sin robs us of fulfillment. Sin’s emptiness inevitably leads to boredom.

In contrast, everything good, enjoyable, refreshing, fascinating and interesting is derived from God. God promises that we’ll laugh, rejoice and experience endless pleasures in Heaven. To be in His presence will be the very opposite of boredom.

Psalm 16:11: “You reveal the path of life to me; in Your presence is abundant joy; in Your right hand are eternal pleasures.”

Peggy Toney Horton lives in Nitro.

Essays on Faith may be submitted to gazette@wvgazettemail.com.

Find more Essays on Faith at www.wvgazettemail.com/life/religion.

Funerals for Friday, September 20, 2019

Barton, Richard - 3 p.m., Donel C. Kinnard Memorial State Veterans Cemetery, Dunbar.

Birthisel, Avis - 11 a.m., Casdorph & Curry Funeral Home, St. Albans.

Call, Denver - Noon, Allen Funeral Home, Hurricane.

Dearien, Tommie - Noon, Stevens & Grass Funeral Home, Malden.

Fletcher, Joanna - 1 p.m., Curry Funeral Home, Alum Creek.

Keeney, Steven - 2 p.m., Keith Full Gospel Church, Keith.

May, Rosa - 2 p.m., Bartlett - Nichols Funeral Home, St. Albans.

Morris, Linda - 1 p.m., Deal Funeral Home, Point Pleasant.

Parsons, Harry - 11 a.m., Ellyson Mortuary Inc., Glenville.

Pauley, Clarence - 10 a.m., Cunningham Memorial Park, St. Albans.

Pino, Patricia - 11 a.m., Bradley FreeWill Baptist Church.

Rogers, Marilyn - 11 a.m., Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, South Charleston.

Satterfield, Kenneth - 5 p.m., Satterfield residence, 1161 Daniels Run Road, Millstone.