Recently I met my brother's family and sister in Sydney for a well-earned break. My wife and three sons survived the road trip from the Sunshine Coast and they were only threatened once with having to find their own way to Sydney.
We rented a house in Cronulla through a net-based B&B website totally unaware what we were to encounter. What would the state of the house be? Would we be featured on a trashy current affairs show with our downcast faces detailing how we had the "holiday from hell" and had "our holiday plans ruined by shonky web based B&B deals offering unsuspecting Queenslanders the holiday of a lifetime in paradise"?
But it was smiling faces all round. A success! Worth the long hours spent entertaining little ones in the car getting there; juggling sandwiches, DVDs, iPads and baby chinos, searching for scrabble letters under the back seat and dressing Barbie dolls (not my sons' by the way, but my brother's daughters!). The family came together and enjoyed a frivolous and fun few days of spring in Sydney. Sun-kissed, salty and with grimy feet, the cousins would fall into bed each night tired and happy.
Jesus said, "Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father's house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going." (John 14 verses 1-4).
This house was perfect and we used every room available because we had access to it and we used whatever we could find in the house because it was our entitlement. The kids used every toy in the front room because it was freely available to them. What were we worried about?
When your reservations, doubts, worries and hesitations are completely wrong and misguided – awe, excitement, elation and joy replace it. What we had previously thought about the holiday home seemed logical and reasonable and was based on what we had read on the website. However, when we arrived, the house exceeded our expectations, needs and comforts. Sometimes when we think about the house God is preparing for His people, we don't really have an accurate idea of what it will be like. Yet, John reminds the believers that God's place had many rooms. It will be beyond our imaginings.
Our holiday house enabled us to all be together and just spend time in close family fellowship. This reminds us what God does have for us – a place for people from not just around this country, but around the world to gather as one family, God's family; to fellowship and join in praising Him together.
God indeed does have a house prepared for us, but not just when we leave earth. It says in 1 Corinthians 2 verse 9, "no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived the things God has prepared for those who love him." The Kingdom here on earth is about a here and now. God wants us to be in close fellowship with family and friends and exceed our expectations far above what we can imagine.
Russell Modlin teaches English and Physical Education at a Christian School on the Sunshine Coast. He is married to Belinda and they have three children.
Russell Modlin's archive of previous article can be found at www.pressserviceinternational.org/russell-modlin.html