“The enjoyment of God is the only happiness with which our souls can be satisfied. To go to heaven, fully to enjoy God, is infinitely better than the most pleasant accommodations here. Fathers and mothers, husbands, wives, or children, or the company of earthly friends, are but shadows; but God is the substance. These are but scattered beams, but God is the sun. These are but streams. But God is the ocean.” (Johnathan Edwards, The Christian Pilgrim)
“Think of this…You desire to love and to be loved…But, do what you will, [love] can never give you perfect happiness here below; for when you have, at last, succeeded in possessing the object after which you so ardently sighed, you discover in it imperfections which you had not suspected before; and these lessen your happiness. But suppose, even, that you are of the few who are as happy as they expected to be — how long will your blessedness last? … Look up to heaven, and there see the blessed in the presence of God. They are as happy today in their love as they were hundreds of years ago; and when millions of ages have rolled by, they shall still possess the object of their love, which is the eternal God.” (Father J. Boudreau, The Happiness of Heaven)
O Father, thank you for the shadows, the scattered beams, the streams; for the loves you so kindly give us here on earth. Thank you! We praise you for earthly happiness! Lord, as we praise, though, we know we need you to do for us what we can’t do for ourselves: Give us the ability to recognize when we’re setting our hearts on the shadows, the beams, the streams, and forgetting that you, and you alone are the satisfier of our souls. Stop us short, Father, when we view the good here as the end in itself; when we cling to the stream and don’t yearn for the ocean. We need you to draw our hearts and minds to you, the substance, the giver of the good, the eternal God!
(Boudreau and Edwards quotes taken from Eternal Perspectives by Randy Alcorn)