THE ROAD TO HEAVEN
The road to Heav’n is sorely marked
With earthly grief and pain.
Here trials and tragedy are parked
To block my upward gain.
“But no!” the Savior says to me,
“Each trouble here is giv’n
From my own hand and serves to be
A higher step to Heav’n.”
The effort would have been too much
And I would not have come,
Save for the Spirit’s guiding touch,
Which spurs my steps toward Home.
For now I see each earthly grief
Has served to teach me this:
In Heav’n is found my soul’s relief,
In Christ my only bliss.
So as I walk this weary road
I look to Paradise,
Where Christ will take my heavy load
And wipe my weeping eyes.
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Written during a season of spiritual trial, this text helped me to learn and then live the purpose of sanctification. It is not to hurt us, though it often does. Nor is it to set us back. It’s quite the opposite. Sanctification is what brings us closer to glory. It is grief and pain that the Spirit uses to make us more like Christ, just as fire is used to refine gold. As a 21st-century hymn writer, I stand on the shoulders of the giants who have gone before me. This hymn gives a nod to one of those giants, Charles Wesley. The last line borrows from a hymn he wrote on Heaven, which I have always loved. It goes like this: “When I can read my title clear to mansions in the skies / I’ll wave farewell to every fear and wipe my weeping eyes.” I loved the poetry, but I did try to draw out better the anticipation of arriving in Heaven: it’s not that we will wipe our eyes, but rather that Christ will.
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