When my blind grandfather died, my mother was overcome with grief. I remember watching her struggle. Yet we saw a sudden change as God reminded her of what heaven is like. Her grief was immediately comforted as she realized: “Now Dad can see.”
The poet writes, “When the trials of life are over, and our days on earth are done…” to encourage those who grieve. Those we love will no longer struggle with the negatives of this life for God wipes away tears, even restores sight to the blind. Yet what will we actually see in heaven?
Scripture’s description of pearly gates and streets of gold is difficult to grasp. So is the idea of seeing God. Here on earth, our vision of Him depends on seeing Jesus. It says, “No one has ever seen God” who is Spirit, but “the only God (the Son), who is at the Father’s side, He has made him known” (John 1:18).
That means that seeing Jesus through Scripture and faith is the same as seeing God for Jesus is “the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation” (Colossians 1:15).
Right now, I see Jesus through the eyes of faith, but not with my physical eyes as some did. Yet for me and for all who long for His appearing, there will a day when we will see Him face to face. On that day great changes will happen — just because our eyes will be opened.
Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. (1 John 3:2)
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. (1 Corinthians 13:12)
Right now, my vision is dim. Even though faith can focus on Jesus transform me into His image, my eyes cannot actually see Him. But on that day, I will see Him clearly and then become like Him. This is an incredible promise from God!
Now I am saved yet still struggle with sin. The Bible says that without holiness, no one can see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14) and “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8). My life falls short, yet on that day when I see Jesus, He will change me from what I am to a sinless person, pure in every way and holy. This transformation will also change my vision of God, now dim at best, to absolute clarity. Like a blind person receiving sight, I will see God.
This is not “pie in the sky” for Jesus said heaven is His Father’s house, an actual place that He has gone ahead to prepare for those who love and follow Him.
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)
What does this preparation involve? When I was a child, the first thing my father did when we came home in the evening was to turn on the lights. When I go home to live in my Father’s house, Jesus will do the same.
No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever. (Revelation 22:3–5)
I will enjoy utter purity and total clarity. I will enjoy light and eternal life. Yet as I think about the wonders of heaven, the greatest of all is this: “After my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God” (Job 19:26).