In one of his Far Side cartoons, Gary Larson depicts a winged man seated in heaven on a cloud. No one near. Nothing to do. Marooned on his celestial post. The caption witnesses his despair: "Wish I'd brought a magazine."
I can relate. Eternal life? Clouds in my midst, a harp on my lap, and time on my hands, unending time. An endless sing-along—a hymn, then a chorus, then still more verses. "Whatever the tortures of hell," declared science-fiction writer Isaac Asimov, "I think the boredom of heaven would be even worse."
You might have similar reservations, quiet yet troubling. Will eternity meet expectations? Jesus gives an assuring response:
Don't let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father's home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? (John 14:1-2, NLT)
Forget the movies' images of knee-high fog banks and floating spirits. Jesus has gone to "prepare a place." Heaven is tangible: as real as the soil in your garden, as physical as the fruit in your orchard. In fact, your garden and fruit might look familiar in heaven.
You probably assume God will destroy this universe and relocate his children. But when God created the heavens and earth, he applauded his work (Genesis 1:31). God never denounced his earth, just man's mistreatment of it. Besides, he's the God of reclamation, not extermination. He restores, recovers, renews. Expect him to reclaim every square inch of what's rightfully his (Matthew 19:28).1