How a Children’s Book Made Me Long for Heaven
“All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now, at last, they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than one before.”
- The Chronicles of Narnia, The Last Battle.
I close the seven hundred page book and release a sigh of satisfaction. A drowsy smile emerges as the novel is closed and laid at the side. With the silence of the night and the wee hours of morning passing by, I lay flat on my bed, with the blankets tucking my body. Sleep overpowers my running thoughts, and another smile slips as I fade into the dark. I long for the day heaven comes.
And yes, I longed for heaven. Sailing beyond the world’s end with Caspian, Jill, Eustace, and Reepicheep makes my heart beat fast in wonder and excitement. Imagine: The time when we appear and meet those who have passed before us, worshipping and coming together in front of the Crafter and Creator of our lives. The day when we see our Abba Father face to face! Our hearts will burst out of delight and reverence as we bow down before the Sovereign God. We will need neither faith nor hope when standing before our Lord and Master, for our faith and hope has appeared before our very eyes. The day when our strength is once again at its peak and our worn-out expressions are replaced with fresh looks of comfort and worry-free care. I long for the days when I sail in my journey, moving closer towards the country of my King.
This time, the longing is different. And seeing a new heaven and new earth brings newfound joy and a yearning desire. I no longer long for just heaven. I long for the day when evil is destroyed before the all-powerful God — once and for all. I long for the day when a new heaven and a new earth is a place we will all dwell in. Envisioning a home filled with fruits and delicacies we have never imagined, tasted — with our tongues salivating in each bite we take. I long for the day when our tears of sorrow, grief, and regret are vanquished, without a hint of them haunting us again. I long for the hour when all prophecies are fulfilled at last. I long for the day when I meet my fellow saints, as Jill and Eustace have met the great Kings and Queens of Narnia. I long for the day when tribulation ends.
And these are simple yet complicated longings. Longings of a new home. Longings of a future so great my mind won’t be able to grasp its glory. Longings of being with YHWH and worshipping Him. Longings of meeting fellow believers face to face, those whom I knew personally, and those whose names became an inspiration to many.
But for now, I will continue to stare in wonder at what the Lord has created, just as Digory and Polly once witnessed. As they have once done, I vow not to show any hatred for His creation, but to love and take care of each animal and plant entrusted to me.
For now, I’ll remind myself of what Christ has done for me and to me, banishing every sin in my heart and forgiving all the betrayals I once committed towards Him, just as Edmund has continually remarked on his betrayal, but beyond that: of Aslan’s sacrifice.
For now, I will continue to journey and disciple others in the faith, being as patient as ever, and offering as much biblical wisdom as the Lord has given me, just as the High King Peter has taught Prince Caspian.
For now, I will wake each day and breathe each breath with hope, knowing that Christ is forever with me, and in time, He will let me into His presence, just as Lucy had held Aslan in her heart in every adventure.
For now, I will continue to search for lost souls and explore each opportunity the Lord has given me, taking initiative when needed, and asking for His wisdom and strength to shine upon me, just as King Caspian has accomplished in his life.
For now, I will help others in discovering what lies ahead of them: the beauty of leaving the past ways and moving forward with their relationship with Christ, just as Hwin and Bree shared the fascinating land of Narnia to Aravis and Shasta.
For now, I will continue to learn who I am, with the new identity God has given me, to act and be more of a princess, an ambassador of Heaven, just as Shasta has done when he learned when he was a lost prince of the country.
For now, I must learn to look at my shortcomings and the consequences that come with each fallback, just as Aravis has with the scars on her back.
For now, I will face each trial with the bravery God has given me, just as Reepicheep has done. I will meet each challenge brought before me with courage that only comes from the One who never gave me a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and sound mind as I travel to the World’s End, to my Master’s country.
For now, I will strive to keep the statutes of my Savior close to my heart, repeating them each day and each night, in every waking moment, just as Jill has been instructed to do in her journey throughout Narnia.
For now, I will remember each favor the Father has bestowed upon me and hold them dear to my soul. In each valley and mountaintop, in every storm and calm sea, I will recall how the Lord has continued to guide me in every adventure I take, just as Eustance had done before seeing the new world arise before Him.
And when that day comes, when I reach the World’s End and new worlds are formed before my very eyes? And when I finally see my Creator face to face, and meet the saints and rejoice in the new home my God has given me? What then?
Who knows? My whole life is only the cover and title page of the Chapter One of the Great Story — which no one on earth, not even I — has read. And it will go on forever, with each chapter better than the last one.
But until then, this story — the story the Lord has written for me and in me — is yet to unfold.