When I was a little girl, I thought I could see heaven. Not directly, of course, but every now and then I believed I caught glimpses of heaven. Have you ever seen a cloud when the sun is shining around it, and it creates a sort of golden halo (or silver lining) around the cloud?
When the cloud passes in front of the sun and you can just glimpse the beams exploding from behind it…that was heaven to my childlike reasoning. I thought the cloud was obscuring heaven at that moment, and if it would just MOVE, I (and everyone else) would get to see and know heaven! It made perfect sense to me. If only that cloud weren’t in the way.
I don’t know where I got that idea, it’s not like heaven was a place or idea frequently discussed in my home. But I just knew it was there, hiding behind those clouds. And oh how beautiful it must be, since it created that beautiful ring around the clouds. I longed to see it in its fullness and splendor. But those darn clouds were always in the way.
I have swept away your sins like a cloud. I have scattered your offenses like the morning mist. Oh, return to me, for I have paid the price to set you free. Isaiah 44:22 NLT
These words from Isaiah have stuck with me, recently. As I’ve mulled and meditated on them, I’m reminded of that little girl from long ago who wanted to see heaven if not for the clouds. When I think of this promise from God, that he has swept away my sins like a cloud, I’m struck: the clouds of my sin obscure the glory of the Lord in my life. My sin blocks me from deeper intimacy with the Living God; it mars and taints my relationship with him.
But he has swept it away, so that I can be free! Free to know him. Free to be with him. That’s the beauty of heaven, isn’t it?
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:3,4 ESV
When the clouds of sin have been swept away, I can look into the Word of God and experience the fullness and freedom I’ve been created to know. And, one day, I will be reunited with God in heaven and know him completely, as intended. Before the clouds of sin obstructed my view of him, separating me from him in darkness.
“Oh, return to me, for I have paid the price to set you free.”
In Jesus, we are free. Through Jesus, our sins and offenses are scattered, and he will remember them no more (Hebrews 8:12). Do you know him?