John’s jubilee towards the end of his book of Revelation is famous and source of comfort for the tormented. Heaven is a good place. Heavenly features to look forward to are God’s loving presence, His overwhelming joy and peace and the absence of human sorrow and pain.
However, does this mean that there is no pain in heaven? What about God’s pain of losing His creatures due to their free will? Since we don’t have to choose Him (God being no dictator) pain is inevitable, because apparently there will always be creatures opposing the Eternal One. They will be harvesting ongoing pain, and consequently, God will go through the parental pain of not being able to help them. If God is in pain, how can we be oblivious to that when we’re right there, in heaven, the place God calls His home? Don’t we share both His joy and pain, especially as we get closer to Him?
Personally, I think Heaven would be one-dimensional if we had it any other way. Joy has more depth to it if we are unafraid of pain and embrace the undesirable feeling of sadness.
Pain can take our breath away and can plunge us into depression and hopelessness if we are not careful. The best way to navigate through the throws of pain is to share it. The worst part of being in pain is if we think we are alone in this. That, quite frankly, is a lie. If nobody can understand your kind of pain, God certainly can.
The reality, however, is – no kind of pain is really that unusual. People can normally relate. You don’t have to go very far to find out that other people find themselves in similar situations as you. When pain bears the fruit of empathy it will create community. If nothing makes sense in pain, this always will: Your particular kind of pain will equip you to be the best friend you can be to the person going through similar challenges.
We are made for one another. God has created us not only to beat loneliness but to make life a whole lot richer.
Here it is, plain and simple written in the skies: Money does not make us rich. Relationships do!
“Tears stream down your face
When you lose something you can’t replace
Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you”
Songwriters: Christopher Anthony John Martin / Guy Rupert Berryman / Jonathan Mark Buckland / William Champion