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why heaven?

October 30, 2006

I’m finishing up The Life and Diary of David Brainerd; right now he’s 29 years old and ready to die of tuberculosis at any moment.

Brainerd is not a name a lot of people know. He lived during the 18th century, and very quietly carried out his mandate to bring the gospel to the Native American people in and around New England. It’s been an interesting journey of laying down a list of good works before the throne of grace, getting commissioned, and absolutely laboring in the spirit for these people. Once he got a breakthrough, though, the man got a breakthrough. Day after day, and week after week of uninterested people finally gives way to a journal entry that describes what must have been an amazing presence and conviction of the Holy Spirit while Brainerd talked about the love of God. A simple message causes this holy travail because the man’s life was saturated with prayer. He carried on for several years with a congregation of a few hundred (mostly) Native Americans, and preached an annointed Word the whole time.

Anyway, being that it’s a journal and that Brainerd spent all his time preaching or praying, there’s not a lot of reflection in it – it’s just a day to day account of what happens. These last 80 pages or so, he can hardly get out of bed, so he has more time to write. He’s looking forward to a physical death at this point because he feels useless being alive and unable to preach, and he made a comment that caused me to pause. I don’t have the book with me, or I’d give you the old English quote direct, but it communicated that he is looking forward to heaven so he can finally worship the Lord perfectly. Wow.

So often I think of heaven as the escape, the reward, the retirement, the rest I don’t get on earth, the great place where we’re happy and comfy and in God’s presence all the time and yes, worship will be good … But here is a man so in love with Jesus that he looks forward to heaven so he can finally worship without all the junk and distraction of this world. I want a heart like that.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Patrick Hoban permalink
    October 31, 2006 11:15 pm

    I enjoyed reading this blog. The punch line really is thought provoking.

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