Objection to Heaven: But will there be iced cappuccinos in Heaven?

Objection #1: “Heaven won’t be good.”

I am sipping on the most delicious store bought iced coffee to ever come in a gallon jug.  The only problem is, it is almost too delicious.  I am having my third cup today.  Those of you who know me know that I tend to be a wee bit hyper anyway.  I don’t really need three cups of iced coffee to help me out.  However, in my defense, I am battling my allergies, can’t spend my afternoon writing outside in the sun, and am loving the yummy boost.

The problem is, I drank all my coffee before I finished the first paragraph.

This coffee reminds me of a Baskin Robbins frozen cappuccino drink I used to get on Saturdays with my dad and weekdays with my mom.  Ok, maybe Mom didn’t get them that much, but she got them more times than she told Dad.  Then the Baskin Robbins on the side of town we lived by closed down.  So we had to drive all the way to the opposite end of town to get our favorite frozen drink.

Then that one went out of business, and there were no more frozen cappuccinos drinks from Baskin Robbins.

My dad was a lot like me–in fact, I bet you he still is, only the way a person totally perfected by God is.  When my dad liked something, he really liked it.  And I am sure, even now, that when he likes something, he really likes it.  He was perfectly content to eat a 99 cent Wendy’s cheeseburger every day because it was a) cheap and b) tasty.  Even when he had Lou Gehrig’s Disease, and struggled to swallow, he managed to get a Wendy’s cheeseburger down for weeks longer than he should have.  That was my dad.

He liked the quesadillas from Taco Bell, too.  The first time I heard him order one, I realized he needed a little training in Spanish.  He said, “We’d like two quessa-dillas, please.”  The Taco Bell cashier didn’t even correct him!  But that was just like my dad to get away with something like that.  He was so polite to everybody, it was hard to point out his mistake.

He was so polite to everybody, in fact, that when his speech became so slurred that the words of language were leaving him and he was beginning to sound inhuman, one of the Wendy’s cashiers where he always got his 99 cent cheeseburger with maybe 99 cent nuggets or a 99 cent salad and perhaps a 99 cent Frosty for dessert asked him what was wrong.

Wendy’s was very sorry to hear he had Lou Gehrig’s Disease.  There isn’t really very many people who treat fast food clerks like they are every bit as important as everybody else.  And there are even fewer people who really believe it.  But my dad did–innocently, without any effort to do so.  Maybe it was because he’d worked in the kitchen of a burger place as a high school drop out.  But he just thought of people as important like that.

. . Like I said, when my father liked something, he really liked it.  And since he liked the Baskin Robbins frozen cappuccinos, he really liked them.  And since I am my father’s daughter, and when I like something, I really like it, and since I liked Baskin Robbins frozen cappuccinos, we drank them together on the weekends.  (And I drank them with my mom in the week, which, as I’ve mentioned before, he might not have always known about.  He does now.  Mom may be in trouble when she gets to Heaven.)

Now, here I am, some seven-and-a-half years after my father died, sitting in a chair in a house he’s never seen, with a cup of what used to be iced coffee.  You can still see traces of it in the melting ice.  He would have liked this coffee.  Extremely much.  He would have liked it a) because it is tasty and b) because it is cheaper than the Baskin Robbins version.

But is he missing out?

I have to smile.

I have to smile, because I know the answer.

Here I am, taking three kinds of medicines for my allergies, with my sore neck, and this tiny-but-ugly scar on my face from when the doctor took my stitches out too early.  Here I am having just paid a $500 medical bill for doctors’ visits and worried about when I am going to clean up the clutter in the kitchen and living room.  Here I am trying to find the right words for a blog, and knowing I almost never get exactly at what I’d like to try to say, and when I do, it’s like a little scratch on the crust of the earth rather than the drill depth I want to go.

Now I am in no way in a hard life.  I actually have had an unbelievably easy life, and I know it.  But what I mean to say is, would my dad trade his life for mine?

Now he’d laugh at that.

Because when my father likes something, he really likes it, and let me tell you what my father loves more than anything:

Jesus.

And the Jesus I pray to, and listen to in His Word, and seek out–that’s the Jesus that my father knows talks to face to face and even knows His home address.  (And that’s a home address you can’t google, by the way.  There aren’t any public records you can pay to see that will tell you how to get to the home of Jesus.)

I think people get carried away trying to tell other people they know what Heaven will be like, when they really don’t.  I think that because I certainly have myself.  So I’m not going to try to guess what my father is doing right now.  That’s hidden from me.  I live at a different address.

I don’t know if there is iced cappuccino in Heaven, but I doubt it matters either way.  I used to think about Heaven as some kind of wish fulfillment of what I liked most on earth: a giant Chuck E. Cheese.  In fact, before my father died, that was what I compared Heaven to, to try to help him get through death.  It was a really stupid idea.  Chuck E. Cheese doesn’t help you when you are choking on an Ensure drink or can’t raise yourself up out of bed.  But Jesus does.

It seems to me like expecting Heaven to be a big neat parade of the things we like down here is kind of like a roach thinking of peoplehood as all the things the roach loves, only bigger, and more of it.  More trash.  More rotten wood.  And worse things than that.

It isn’t that we won’t experience feelings of joy in Heaven like we do here.  A roach can be happy over a piece of trash.  Imagine how happy that roach would be if it became a human and could dine at a five-star restaurant?

It’s the stuff here that is no good comparing to the treasures in Heaven.  We look at physical stuff and think it translates over.  Do we like iced coffee drinks?  Well there must be more iced coffee drinks in Heaven, better iced coffee drinks in Heaven.

Nah.

There’s no good in trying to dream up what’s waiting for us in Heaven.  We’ll just have to get there to find out.  Jesus guarantees us we won’t figure it out.  And I think it’s kinda a waste of time for me to try.

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”

(1 Corinthians 2:9b, NLT)

What I do know is, the God who comes to earth to suffer an anguishing death on a cross in order to save us from our sins isn’t going to make a Heaven where we’re sad that we don’t have any more iced coffees to drink.  I can tell you that for sure.

Jesus gives us a guarantee so simple songwriter Steve Green turned it into a song for small children.  It is one example of the unselfishness of the Lord Jesus.  He could have chosen to give us brain-bursting descriptions of Heaven or written a brilliant code about Heaven that nobody could crack and that would become a bestseller.

But He didn’t do either.  The Creator of Words and most brilliant wordsmith of all, the One who can invent languages quicker than the snap of a finger, the infinitely clever God who can with one thought drop a puzzle from Heaven that no one on earth could solve in an infinite number of years . . . talks to us in pure kindness, like the best of all fathers to a little child:

In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. (John 14:2, KJV)

The most comforting thing I can think of hearing from a friend when I have any doubt about whether he knows what he’s talking about is this:

If it were not so, I would have told you.

If I was standing in line for a train, and I had no idea what would be at the end of that trip–a drop off a cliff, a prison, an ambush, a desert, or a land that would make C.S. Lewis’ Narnia look as ordinary as an empty parking lot . . . and if I asked my friend, over and over again, with great worry, if he really knew what we were going to be facing, this is what I would most want to hear:

If it were not so, I would have told you.

This carries the unfathomable realm of trust that causes a child to laugh when thrown into the air by a father.  Jesus knows.  He doesn’t waste time answering our little questions about whether there will be iced coffees or whatever other “stuff” we wonder if we’ll see there–He gets right straight to the heart of why we’re going there: because of Him.

If a friend of mine spent her life savings to pay for me to go on a vacation with her, do you think I’d go?  You bet I would!  I wouldn’t wonder whether or not she thought this was a worthwhile trip.

How much more, then, when God spends His life for us to come be with Him, should we trust that He believes Heaven is a good place to go?  And if He believes Heaven is a good place to go, then Heaven is a good place to go, because God’s Word is Truth.

We trust Him to get us there, and we trust Him about what is there.  Or we don’t trust Him, and we don’t go there.

Just like Heaven isn’t something we can get in our world . . neither is Hell.  Just like there isn’t any good thing that comes from this earth that can compare to the treasures of Heaven . . . . . there isn’t any bad thing that comes from this earth that can compare to the darkness of Hell.  Just imagine: if God decided, out of the love in His heart, that it was worth dying a tormented, humiliating death to save us from Hell . . what must be there?

That is something I don’t want to find out.  I take Him at His Word, and I look forward to Heaven, where I know this for sure, this that quiets all my questions about the goodness of Heaven:

He has been there.

He is there now.

and

He will be there.

“The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all.”

(Jesus, quoted in John 3:31, NIV)

Now all I want to know is this: Will I be there?

“The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:8b-9, ESV)

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