Imagine yourself in the presence of the King of Creation.
Imagine the majestic environment – the rarefied air, trees bustling with beauty and dignity – an atmosphere encased in a feeling of delight and joy!
Imagine sinking your teeth into a delectable piece of fruit, soaked with the fullness of life and the freshness of His touch.
Just beyond the horizon, you spy a crowd of animals: healthy and vibrant, on glorious display – marching in rhythm – beneath the base of distant majestic mountain ranges, too beautiful for the heart to fully behold.
Now imagine the King of this astounding place, in the midst of these astonishing surroundings, calling you to come near.
From among all of the beautiful creatures around you, He’s selected you!
“But the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them.”
The above quote is the way C.S. Lewis begins the closing pages of his final book in the Chronicles of Narnia Series, The Last Battle. The Last Battle is my favorite of the Narnia series! Lewis goes on to say – in painting his picture of heaven, “And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. 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 for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.”†
I read each book in the Narnia series to my children when they were younger. A couple of years ago, I picked up The Last Battle and read it again. The final two chapters brought me to the brink of joy filled, hope saturated tears each time I read them. I realize how formative Lewis has been in the growth of my picture of heaven.
C.S. Lewis, in Mere Christianity, suggests that we are a people of deep and unending desire (https://www.cslewis.com/us). He further states that our unending quest for satisfaction reveals a deeper and often confounding truth about what it means to be human; what it means to be whole!
“If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. If none of my earthly pleasures satisfy it, that does not prove that the universe is a fraud. Probably earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it, but only to arouse it, to suggest the real thing.”
We are a people of deep desire. We find that our desires, by in large, remain unfulfilled. It seems we are an ever longing and always wanting people. The shopping saturated Christmas season is one of our most prolific expressions of this reality. Many will search and seek and hunt and barter; attempting to find items – items that will bring us joy. But we long for more than mere items and the joy possessions can provide.
Perhaps it is from this perspective, in this context, that we can best hear the words of the prophet in Isaiah 64:1 when he exclaims:
Oh, that you would burst from the heavens and come down!
Isaiah pictures the heavens as a vast curtain concealing God and he asks that God would rip them apart and step into his world with his presence felt! Isaiah’s yearning, his desire, is so deep that he asks for God’s fullest and most awesome presence.