“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” John 14:1-4
I don’t think I ever fully understood the depth of this passage until just recently. I grew up with this unrealistic view that heaven was for everyone and everyone will eventually end up there. Maybe, just maybe, they wouldn’t end up in heaven if they were really bad; I mean really really bad. But, for the most part, the gate was wide open.
Read at a surface level, this passage may have proven my point – Don’t worry, my Father’s house has plenty of rooms. It’s this wide open, doors unlocked mansion, and I’m making it ready for you, so just chill and meet me there someday. So casual, so welcoming, so open. If you read it like that, than you are missing the whole point.
My husband and I like to be very welcoming hospitable people. If it weren’t for our crazy busy schedule, we’d probably have people over to our house constantly. It wouldn’t matter that much who you are, we just love loving people. However, these days, we’re very selective about opening our doors because we’re just not usually home, and when we are, we’re exhausted and our house is usually a mess.
A Place for My Child
More recently, though, we have had a number of people come through our doors, but not so that we can serve them and show them love, but just the opposite. We’ve realized that we haven’t had time to prepare the house properly for a little baby who’s due date is fast approaching because we’ve invested so much of it into our business; into providing financially for our new arrival. Others heard about our predicament and, over several months, have come in and out to help us around the house. I’ve had people cleaning, organizing, assembling furniture, painting, hanging curtain rods and wall decor, et cetera, et cetera. The generosity of others has completely blown me away into a state of speechlessness (something that is not common for me).
A couple weeks ago my mom, mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and best friend threw me the most amazing baby shower. So much love and detail went into it. The majority of the women on the list I gave the hostesses came. Each woman invited was carefully chosen, as was each present they brought for my little boy.
Now equipped with what I needed to start life out right for my little baby, and a home set up to welcome him upon his arrival, I began putting together the details. I’ve done many things to prepare the house, but not so carefully as I’ve prepared my son’s room.
Let me interlude in this moment the significance of this child to me. I’ve written many times of my desire to be a mom – of my calling to motherhood – and the long struggle as I waited for my dream to become reality. This child was carefully planned, thoughtfully waited for, and loved so heart achingly for years prior to his conception. The past 8 ½ months of my pregnancy have been an emotional roller coaster – not just because of the influx of hormones pregnancy so graciously bestows upon a woman, but because of the drawn out anticipation of this moment in my life. It’s an answered prayer that held a lot of doubt for a lot of years.
So now, I have a special space, and I have special things, and I take special care as I put them together specifically for this one little boy. I prepared his room with more love and care than I’ve prepared any other room in my home. Every penny spent was scrutinized; every color, every piece of furniture, every article in every place meticulously planned. As I wait for the final moments when he’ll leave my womb and enter this big world, I go back and rearrange things, make it better – make it more perfect, just for him. I may not complete my whole vision for the room before my son is born – I have a whole wall mural in the works! – but it will be just right, just for him.
Then, I walk into the room and look around (it’s just there, waiting for him!) and I am in awe that I got to prepare this place for this special little boy. It was in the moment when I first had this thought that I realized this is exactly how God feels about me.
A Place for Me and You
God is preparing a place for me in heaven. He has a house with many rooms and one of those rooms is being made ready specifically for me. Only he knows the day and the hour that I will go to reside in that room, but until that time, he carefully plans out every detail, every color, every piece of furniture, every knob for every dresser drawer just for me.
Beyond his careful preparation for me is the sad realization that not everyone I know will get a room. John 14:1 carefully states that these rooms are for those that believe in Jesus. Not everyone I know believes in Jesus. You will not get a room. I want you to have a room – God wants you to have a room – but as much as I tell you about this amazing savior, you choose not to believe.
“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” Matthew 7.13-14
The gate is narrow. There is no wide-open gates, doors unlocked mansion for you. You must receive the key of salvation from Jesus Christ by believing in Him to gain entrance into His house. You may be like me when I was a child and assume you can just walk through the gate and turn the doorknob and walk in without a care as to whose house you are entering, but this is not so.
You must ask for directions to the Father’s house, seek the path to Christ through His Word, knock at the door of Salvation set before you. It’s not hard, but it must be done. You must believe in God’s Son and accept his offer of a relationship with Him so that he knows to prepare a room for you. Similarly, just as so many people willingly came to my house to help prepare it for my child, so does God send people into your life to point you to the Salvation of His Son. They show you the house, you must be ready to ask for a key when it’s offered, seek His Word, knock on the door.
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7
Jesus was born so that we can all gain entrance into heaven. This tiny little boy, born in a barn surrounded by animals and dirt, who grew into a man that died to pay for our sin, conquered death – defeated hell! – so that we could gain free entrance into heaven and live like kings and queens in eternal peace.
As John Wesley put it in his popular hymn:
Come, thou long expected Jesus,
born to set thy people free;
from our fears and sins release us,
let us find our rest in thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation,
hope of all the earth thou art;
dear desire of every nation,
joy of every longing heart.
Born thy people to deliver,
born a child and yet a King,
born to reign in us forever,
now thy gracious kingdom bring.
By thine own eternal spirit
rule in all our hearts alone;
by thine all sufficient merit,
raise us to thy glorious throne.
And so my own son will be born to me in a few days. Raising him will be a hard, difficult road, but a joy all the same. My excitement to be his mother is reflected in the place I’ve prepared for him. I can’t wait to introduce him to the Father who will prepare an even more glorious place one day in heaven. God’s excitement in preparing a place for me is so great that it cannot even compare.