I've written before about the original creation and how even Eden wasn't perfect; it was only ever good. And as we consider what we think about the beginning and the end, Eden and Heaven, I have to say the same thing. As much as we consider these to be perfect, they aren't.
But they are perfected.
God created the heavens and the earth. The representation we have of the earth is, of course, Eden, of which God only ever said, "It is very good." If it were perfect, I think God would have told us so, but there was still work to be done. When God declared it was good, even very good, His work of creation was not yet complete. He had made man, but not woman. (And no, I'm not saying that woman makes it perfect!) What I am saying is that God understood that you can't just manufacture relationship. Relationship grows. It changes. It evolves. It comes into itself and is worked out over time as both parties enter in and go deeper with each other.
And relationship, as the central aspect of all Creation, was the one thing the Creator could never create. He had to simply make the space for it and then allow it to grow. So creation itself was good, but it wasn't perfect; it wasn't everything God intended it to be. What He was looking for was relationship, and so as man and woman and God walked the grounds together, this is what was coming to be. The good creation was being perfected in its own growth, its own evolution. Through relationship.
When we look forward to Heaven, we have to see the same thing. It's Eden all over again. God can set the world right. He can recreate the Creation. He can restore all the broken things that were never meant to be, but that doesn't make it perfect. Because Heaven is not about a world set right; it's about a heart set right. And a heart set right is done only in relationship, and relationship cannot simply be created. Or even recreated. Relationship must be restored through the hard work and investment of both parties.
The day Jesus reveals Himself to the world again, people are not going to instantly love Him. They may have a lot of thoughts and feelings about Him, depending on their relationship up to that point, but just because He shows that He is the Son of God and that He does keep His word, it doesn't mean that people will automatically feel some deep love for Him. Love must simply grow on its own. And without love, nothing is perfect.
On top of that, even if love were to be restored in a heartbeat, Heaven still could not be perfect because it would still be made of once-broken people. Broken was never part of the plan. And whatever hasn't been part of the plan cannot be perfect.
But it can be perfected.
Here we are again, back to this distinction. Perfect or perfected? Nothing was ever perfect. From the very beginning, everything has been set in motion to grow and to change and to evolve. To be perfected, not to be perfect.
You and me included.
So take the pressure off yourself. Lower your expectations a little. It's okay if you're not perfect; you were never meant to be. It's okay if this world is not perfect; it wasn't made that way. It's okay if life is not perfect; it never was.
As long as it's all being perfected, it's okay. Really. It's okay.