Perhaps you have been there as I have… as many have. You show up and either (1) you failed to make a reservation or (2) they lost it. Whichever, you’re locked out. No room. No place to stay. Your family looking at you with eyes of blame. On more than one occasion, I have walked into situations like that. And usually, it’s inconvenient at least and embarrassing at most. Either way, it’s no fun being turned away… especially if you thought your reservation was secured!
And yet, there’s something worse than not being given a hotel room when you need it… and that is to walk into eternity without a secure reservation having been made. There is no coming back from that. There is no begging the clerk to forgive your oversight. You’re just… lost.
It is one of the most precious promises in the Bible to hear Jesus say the familiar words, “Let not your hearts be troubled….” In that promise He tells of a provision that has already been made for those who follow and love Him. He promises, “I am going to prepare a place for you.” A place. In the Biblical context, the “place” He was speaking of would be a room that a bridegroom would build or have built onto his family’s home. When it was completed, he would return to his awaiting bride and the marriage ceremony would begin culminating with him taking her “to his father’s house” where they would live.
In the ensuing years of church history and hymn writing, that place became a “mansion just over the hilltop” where the singer says, “I want a gold one that’s silver lined.” There is really nothing in the Bible that promises such a mansion to the believer. Only a place. A prepared place. In the Father’s house.
Maybe we get this wrong. Maybe it’s not Jesus’ intention at all to talk about the “where” of our dwelling place, but that there will BE a place waiting. As the old Motel 6 ads used to end, “We’ll leave the lights on for ya!” Somebody’s expecting your arrival. There is a place. Maybe if we thought of it in our context today, Jesus was saying, “I’m going to make a reservation for you!”
There’s comfort in that. Our arrival in eternity may surprise us, but no one else… least of all God. There is a place made… a reservation paid for with the blood of the Lamb. It is secured and ready when the time comes for our “place” here on earth to end. A place awaits. A prepared place.
And forever, we will be at home with Jesus.
FOR MEMORIZATION: “I go to prepare a place for you.” John 14:3
FOR REFLECTION: What is the difference where we live in eternity… as long as Jesus dwells there with us? Think about what will mean the most to you when you first arrive in Heaven and find there is a place waiting there for you.