When I Get Where I’m Going Will It Be What I Expected?

When I get where I’m going (Brad Paisley)

When I get where I’m going
on the far side of the sky.
The first thing that I’m gonna do
Is spread my wings and fly. 

I’m gonna land beside a lion,
and run my fingers through his mane.
Or I might find out what it’s like
To ride a drop of rain

(Chorus:)
Yeah when I get where I’m going,
there’ll be only happy tears.
I will shed the sins and struggles,
I have carried all these years.
And I’ll leave my heart wide open,
I will love and have no fear.
Yeah when I get where I’m going,
Don’t cry for me down here.

I’m gonna walk with my grandaddy,
and he’ll match me step for step,
and I’ll tell him how I missed him,
every minute since he left.
Then I’ll hug his neck.

(Chorus)

So much pain and so much darkness,
in this world we stumble through.
All these questions, I can’t answer,
so much work to do.

But when I get where I’m going,
and I see my Maker’s face.
I’ll stand forever in the light,
of His amazing grace.
Yeah when I get where I’m going,
Oh, when I get where I’m going,
there’ll be only happy tears.
Hallelujah!
I will love and have no fear.
When I get where I’m going.
Yeah when I get where I’m going.

Every one dreams, to some degree, of what heaven is like. To the average American it represents a perfect version of earth without limitation. There are many constraints upon us in this world, things that push and pull us for our loyalties and our attention. Many times, we feel caged in by the pressures of our lives; therefore the idea of being able to “spread my wings and fly” is a natural interest. Heaven is depicted as being a place of no pressure, no constraints but rather unrestrained bliss and pleasure.

In this image of a perfected earth, we typically imagine that the power we contain or lack here on earth will be perfected in heaven. Since most people live their lives without regard for God in their everyday existence, the idea that we are the most powerful beings on earth is a natural assumption; there are no creatures more intelligent than mankind. Many times this is translated into our assumptions about heaven. “I’m gonna land beside a lion, and run my fingers through his mane. Or I might find out what it’s like, to ride a drop of rain.” This image is of power (having a lion submit to you), of doing what one wants, while defying the laws of nature (“riding a drop of rain”). We want to do whatever we wish without any limitations, including the laws of nature. We want to be in control of every situation we encounter, including those with the beasts of nature.

We also see heaven as a place of perfect health. One were the physical limitations of earth are gone, “I’m gonna walk with my grandaddy, and he’ll match me step for step.” We look forward to the day where we will be reunited with our loved ones and be free from the physical ailments that taunt us here on earth.

The final image of heaven in this song is of God. “But when I get where I’m going, and I see my Maker’s face. I’ll stand forever in the light, of His amazing grace.” The author waits until the end of the song to express his interest in the “maker” of the earth he currently resides upon and the heaven of which he is dreaming. It is almost as though it is an afterthought, as though he desires to see God only after his physical and psychological needs have been taken care of.

This is a standard concept for mankind. When I need God, I want Him to be there. When I pray to God, I want Him to answer me. When I have something that I feel God should intervene in, then I want Him to get involved. The predominant question of agnostics and atheists is “how can a good, loving God allow evil and suffering in the world?” They want to know why the painful events of their lives were allowed by God. They feel that if God truly exists then the events they have suffered would not have occurred. They argue that they’ve prayed to God, asked Him for assistance in these situations but they missed a significant point. They have no relationship with God.

Let’s look at it this way, if you were to get in a bind (get arrested, lose your home, become sick, etc.) and need assistance from someone to resolve the situation, who would you call? Would you call a random name from the phone book? Would you expect a complete stranger to assist you, take care of you simply because you requested it, knowing that when you are no longer in need of their assistance they will never hear from you again? Or would you call a person you were familiar with a person you interact with and have a relationship with on a regular basis? Or flip the situation, if you received a call from a random person, someone who picked your name out of the phone book, asking for assistance, would you help them? Would you clean out your saving account for them, give them a bed in your home or give your life for them?

God is not a gene in a bottle. He has no interest in sitting by idly watching you live your life without regard for Him and then be called in from the sidelines only when you can’t handle it anymore. He wants a personal relationship with you. He wants to be the one you come to when life is frustrating, when life is glorious, when life is just life.

How do you talk to your best friend? How often do you see them or speak with them on the phone? What do you talk about with them? What do you expect from them? This is what God expects and wants with you. He wants to be the one you are so excited to share your life with. He wants to be the one with whom you share your heart and soul, your dreams and fears, your accomplishments and failures. He wants to be an intricate part of your life. He wants your love, your devotion, all of you. This is what life on earth is about and this is what heaven is about.

Heaven is a perfection of earth, but it is not in the way we typically think. It has nothing to do with having the stresses and constraints of life removed, although that will be the case. It has nothing to do with having control of all the situations in our lives. It has nothing to do with being free of physical ailments, although that will be the case. It has EVERYTHING to do with finally being able to have pure and holy relationship with God. The pulls, stresses and constraints of this world fight for our attention. They constantly draw us away from God. They make building a relationship w Christ difficult just like building any relationship is, but in heaven those constraints will be gone. In heaven we will be able to sit at the feet of Christ and enjoy every moment of His presence. We will be able to interact with Him in a holy, pure way that is untainted by sin and struggle. The point of heaven is not unending bliss for the sake of bliss, it is unending bliss that is the result of being with the one who loves our soul more than life. It is unending bliss that comes only from knowing complete and utter security because you are in love with the creator of all things AND HE IS IN LOVE WITH YOU!

Christ died for you. He came down from His throne in heaven. Took on flesh and struggled with what you struggle with every day, hunger, pain, disease, heart break, prejudice, betrayal, death, you name it He experienced it. Why? So that He could take the penalty for your lack of obedience to God upon Himself so that you would be able to have a relationship with God. He paid the price for you, so that you could be washed clean and wrapped in the loving arms of God, so that you could know God.

Have you seen the face of Christ? Have you heard the voice of the Holy Spirit in the quiet of your mind or the tugging of your heart? He love you and He wants you, so take the time to get to know Him. Everything you need to know about Him is in the Bible. Take a chance to read His love letter written specifically to YOU and speak with Him, allow Him to speak to YOU!