DEAR REV. GRAHAM: God has given me a good life, but now I’m old and crippled and in poor health. I feel so useless, and I just wish God would take me to Heaven. Would it be wrong for me to pray this way?
— S.J. DEAR S.J.: If we never look forward to the next world or yearn to go to Heaven, it means we have become too strongly attached to this world. The Apostle Paul declared, “I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far” (Philippians 1:23).
As long as God gives us life, He has a purpose in keeping us here. Your life is not finished until God says it’s finished. No, you may not be able to do all the things you once did; neither can I. But God can still use you just as much as He ever did, even if it’s not in exactly the same way. For example, you now have time to pray for others in ways you may never have been able to do before. You will never know this side of eternity what effect these prayers have — but God’s work goes forth on the prayers of God’s people. The Bible says, “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (James 5:16).
You also can be an encouragement to those around you. I note from your letter that you are now in a nursing home, and all around you are people who may be lonely and discouraged. Ask God to use you to encourage them and point them to the hope we have because of Christ.
Most of all, thank God for the promise we have of Heaven because of Christ. Is your hope and trust in Him? Remember: “What is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18).