When God Opens the Shutters – Joni and Friends 6 September 2022

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Joni And Friends Daily Devotional 6 September 2022 | Tuesday Message

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Topic: When God Opens the Shutters

If our happiest moments on earth give us a foretaste of heaven, then the tragic moments make us long for it.

The truth of the matter is, I never used to think much about heaven when I was on my feet. It seemed like some vague, distant, misty place where there would be a lot of clouds and harps and we’d polish gold all day – forever! That prospect seemed very unattractive to me – and immensely boring.

Besides, in order to get to heaven, you had to die. And at the age of seventeen, who wants to think about that?

But heaven is so wonderful, and it’s just like God to give us a little help to turn our thoughts toward that future reality. And sometimes it takes more than a lovely starlit night or a verse of Scripture to open our eyes.

Samuel Rutherford describes this help in an essay he wrote back in the seventeenth century:

“If God had told me some time ago that he was about to make me as happy as I could be in this world and then had told me that he should begin by crippling me in arm or limb and removing from me all my usual sources of enjoyment, I should have thought it a very strange mode of accomplishing his purpose. And yet, how is his wisdom manifest even in this. For if you should see a man shut up in a closed room idolizing a set of lamps and rejoicing in their light and you wished to make him truly happy, you would begin by blowing out all of his lamps and then throw open the shutters to let in the light of heaven.”

That’s just what God did for me when he sent a broken neck my way. He blew out all the lamps in my life which lit up the here and now and made it so exciting. To be sure, the dark depression that followed wasn’t much fun. But it certainly made the prospect of heaven come to life. My heart leaps to think of the day when I’ll have my new body – hands that feel, arms that hold, and legs that run.

One day God will throw open the shutters. The view that fills our eyes in that moment will make us forget all about the lamps in our shuttered room.

Do you find yourself all caught up in the here and now? Do you sometimes feel like a slave to the clock? Are you sick and tired of struggling with sin or apathy or the anxieties and sorrows that weigh down your heart? God may be using those very things to turn your thoughts toward your future home…and the One who awaits the sound of your steps at the front door.

The Glorious Pursuit

Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”

– Revelation 21:1-5

What more can I say? Enjoy the view!

Joni And Friends Daily Devotional 6 September 2022, Tuesday