by Belinda Kersey
Dedicated to the memory of Maria E. Giardi
John 14:2 In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.”
Mansion Over a Hilltop by Ira F. Stanphill
I’m satisfied with just a cottage below. Well, as long as it looks like one of the cottages in Thomas Kinkade’s paintings! We don’t seem to feel the need to sing such humble songs anymore. We’d rather sing about our riches in the Lord and listen to the preachers discuss the cattle on a thousand hills. We are more attuned to listening to how God will supply our every need and desire.
As a child, this song was always one I requested on Sunday song request nights. I knew it was on page 45 in the “Melodies of Praise” hymnal. Apparently I still do! It stirred my vivid childhood imagination. I mean this place has “streets of pure gold”. I was told as a young child it meant they were clear like glass. Who wouldn’t want a mansion with a gold exterior and silver interior? It sounded like the most ritzy-glitzy place my mind could imagine. Now, I wasn’t sure about the harp in the song, but I definitely desired the mansion and crown we sang about.
Recently, I was reminded of the words to this song as my family drove to church. We passed by the gates outside some of the largest and most stunning mansions you can imagine. Each new home outsized and out-glitzed the last one. As my youngest son sighed and said “those houses are so beautiful.,” I said, “yes Kameron, but they just can’t compare to what our Lord has prepared for us.”
Randy Ruiz, an evangelist friend of ours describes the space we will each have in heaven as at least 12 miles wide by 12 miles long by 12 miles high. I think I could be quite comfy in a spread that size! Our heavenly Father has considered the needs and desires we each have. Our personalities will still be part of us in heaven (at least the pleasant parts). He has considered that in his preparation for us. God, who in seven days imagined into existence our beautifully creative world, would never be able to create a cookie cutter heaven. No, he has had time abundant to create beauty and diversity beyond even the most imaginative mind’s comprehension.
One look around your local park will enable you to see what depth of imagination and artistry is in our Creator’s very being. Heaven will be his crowning glory, his creation to end all creation. Why do we become so easily dissatisfied with what we have on this dusty little globe? Why can’t we be content to wait a little while for that amazing place?
In this era of “get all you can and can all you get”, we can’t sing with much enthusiasm the line from the song that says, “I’m satisfied with...a little silver and a little gold.” We raise our children to believe all needs should be immediately met, and it is our right to have what we want when we want it. We urge them to choose their career paths based on pay. Whatever happened to doing what we love and loving what we do regardless of the monetary pay-off?
Why can’t the hope of heaven be enough? "In that city where the ransomed will shine, I’ve got a mansion just over the hilltop, in that bright land where we’ll never more roam and someday yonder, we’ll never more wander but walk on streets that are purest gold." A counterpart I learned to the chorus begins “I may not be a millionaire but can’t you see I just don’t care…” When will we choose not to care about what we have accumulated on this earth? I’m not saying you should sit at the gates of the city and wait for your mansion in heaven, but neither should you pursue silver and gold at the cost of losing your very soul.
Choose to do God’s bidding here on the earth and put your hope in heaven not in your bank account. We are not “poor, deserted or lonely”, we are “just pilgrims in search of that city”.
Thank God for your heavenly home He is preparing. Thank Him for providing for you on this earth, not just your dwelling place but for the nature He has created.
postscript-My dear friend, Maria, entered her heavenly home last Tuesday. These devotionals are scheduled several weeks in advance. I thought it was appropriate that this devotional happened to fall on this day. I know Maria is dancing on those streets of gold, singing God's praises and enjoying her God designed mansion!