January 22, 2013

Renovation project?

Occasionally I dream that I’m living in a different house, not a surprise for we have moved many times. Someone told me that houses in such dreams represent things in my life. Sometimes the house is large and spacious with many rooms. Sometimes it is filled with furniture, or people. Sometimes there are hidden and locked rooms. These could be pictures of what is going on, or perhaps dreaming about a house last night could reflect the devotional focus of the past few days.
In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? (John 14:2)

In this verse, the house is not mine, but God’s, and His Son is the way or door into His house. “Jesus said… ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’” (John 14:6). While the door is open and everyone is invited, there is only one entrance. No one can get in any other way.

In the postmodern thinking of today, this exclusiveness makes some people angry. They think it presumptuous to claim only one way to God, and even to claim being sure of heaven. However, it isn’t what I say but based on the claim of Jesus Christ and the promises of God. He said that He is the only way and that He is preparing a place for those who believe in Him. He also says we can know that we have eternal life (1 John 5:13).

In my dream, I had guests in my house, a couple and their daughter, not close friends but not enemies. I’ve not thought about them for months. Perhaps the dream is a signal to pray for them, but in context, it is likely a reminder about that future home. That is, when I am in those many rooms of my Father’s house, there will be others there too. Heaven will not be filled with “us four, no more, shut the door” but with all of God’s children. As the song goes, “Red and yellow, black and white, all are precious in His sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world.” God may be inclusive about the way into His house, but He is not inclusive about those He invites.

The Lord loves all those that I love and all those that I might not like very much. Heaven’s house could be filled with the people I’ve disagreed with here, even those that have hurt me or given me grief. I will live for eternity with them. So perhaps the dream was to remind me to be at peace with others, forgiving those who have sinned against me and loving those who seem less lovable than the people on my preferred guest list.

Of course, in heaven, negative attitudes and sour relationships will not exist. In being made like Jesus, each of us will be fully cleansed of our selfish and sinful desires and responses. We will not have those childish I-wants that can turn dreams into nightmares. Yet as I think about the house in my dream and the house that Jesus describes, He seems to be saying that the place He is building there can also describe the place that He wants to build here.

That is, my heart and home here on earth could be enlarged and more like heaven. Jesus wants me to make room for everyone including family, friends and even those not on those lists. As He prepares a perfect dwelling place in heaven, He also wants to repair my home, heart, and attitude here, including anything that is broken down, run-down or has closed doors. Heaven’s windows have a warm glow. What about where I live right now?

I would not be surprised if last night’s house dream signals another major renovation project.

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