Jesus’ time to return to the Father has come. In these few short verses we see him taken up to heaven. I suppose this is why we always think that heaven is in the sky. As a kid, I remember thinking the astronauts heading into space must be seeing heaven up there. Another cool moment is when you look outside your airplane window only to see blue sky as far as you can see and white cottony clouds below. We’ve all seen pictures of angels floating around on clouds. Is that heaven?
None of us know for sure what heaven is really like. We do know that God is there. There have been countless books written, and a simple google search can give you reading material for days. I like to look to the Bible. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 2:9, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” I will look forward to the day when I see Jesus face to face in the place he has prepared for me.
Jesus left so he could prepare a place for us. Before he left, he blessed his friends. We all need to remember that we receive blessing from above, too. What was the disciples’ response? They worshiped. They continued to worship and praise even after they returned to Jerusalem. They were filled with the joy of the Lord.
Joy manifested itself here in Jesus’ followers. It was likely fueled by the extra time they were able to spend with Jesus. It was a better send off to be sure. They had been transformed as the truth had been revealed to them. There was no doubt in their mind now they had been in the midst of God himself. I’d have joy, too.
We can have that kind of joy. We need that kind of joy-it heals, inspires, and it gets us through the challenges of life. Think about what Jesus has done for you, and that no matter what, he loves you. Oh, and he’s coming back soon! That alone should start stirring the pot of joyfulness.
Here are some other ideas: (1) be grateful for everything in your life, (2) sing praise songs no matter how you’re feeling, (3) get up and dance, let your body move freely, (4) exercise, (5) serve another person, (6) do things that make you smile and laugh.
When we put ourselves in the place of joy, the bad things around us are not in focus. They tend to lose their brilliance, and we are able to see clearly what is important. So today, look at the list above and find your joy.
Let’s pray. Father God I give you thanks for the joy springing up inside me. I think of your return and your victory, and I love the flutter I feel inside. I wonder if everyone’s joy feels like this? Lord continue to mold me into the person you want me to become. It doesn’t matter how old I get, I always want to strive to be better. I want you to be proud of me and how I am using my gifts. I haven’t always used them, and I ask you to forgive me. Help me to gain all that I have lost because of my wayward heart and mind. I am connected to you now Lord. Use me today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.