I used to be very active in my church and I taught Sunday school for over 30 years, but now I'm in my 80s and crippled from arthritis and other problems, and I can't even get out. Why is God keeping me here? I'd rather be in heaven. Is it wrong to feel this way? — Mrs. J.W.
No, it's not wrong for us to yearn for heaven, particularly when the burdens of this life begin to press down upon us. Once the Apostle Paul expressed the same yearning when he was going through a difficult time: "I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far" (Philippians 1:23).
After all, if we know Christ, we know this world is not our final home. Death for us is not the end; it is only the gateway to a new life in God's presence forever. In this world, we experience pain and illness and conflict—but someday all the things that trouble us right now will be over. The Bible says, "Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands" (2 Corinthians 5:1). What a great promise!
But in the meantime, God has His reasons for keeping us here. Perhaps you can't do everything you once did—but you can pray for others, and you can be an example of Christ's love and peace to those around you. Will your grandchildren or others who know you remember you for your love of Christ, even when life was hard?
May this be a time when you grow closer to Jesus. Someday soon, He will take you into His presence—but until then, take each day as a gift from God, and ask Him to help you live it with joy and expectation. God bless you.