It was 23 years ago, about a year-and-a-half after our accident, that I got my first real glimpse of heaven . . .
It was a dreary winter day, typical for Sacramento, fog-shrouded and bone-aching cold. I’d snuggled down into my favorite rocking chair to nurse Candyce and read my Bible during the few moments of quiet while the older girls napped.
My Bible was still opened to 2 Corinthians, where I’d left off in my reading. I tried to dive into chapter four, but my heart just wasn’t in it that day. I’d been struggling with depression, probably a mixture of post-partum depression and plain old grief, and I ached for some comfort that even the squirming little bundle in my arms could not provide.
I missed Jonah desperately . . . I missed the smell of his soft, tanned skin when he’d run in from the backyard on a summer afternoon. I missed his sweet lilting voice (Jonah always spoke in third person: “Jonah want a drink!”) and his gorgeous blue eyes that always seemed to look far beyond me–kind of like he knew this world was not his real home.
(In fact, I wrote a song for him when he was still very young, that was strangely prophetic about his short time on earth. Part of the chorus went:
“The world can be a cruel place, when you hear a diff’rent drum–
But Jonah, there are better worlds to come.”)
The year-and-a-half since our accident had brought a lot of healing–and a new baby–into our lives, but today I just ached. Body, soul and spirit. And while I didn’t really feel motivated to dig into the Word that day, I knew that it was the only true source of comfort I’d find.
My brain felt foggy as I slogged through the first part of the chapter. When I got to verse 18, however, the fog lifted and the light of truth broke in. As the words penetrated my mind and settled into my heart, the Lord gave me a brief foretaste of heaven.:
” . . . we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporary; but the things which are not seen are eternal. “
I didn’t actually see heaven, like the folks who’ve died and are heading toward the light, but God opened the eyes of my heart. As if the veil that separates heaven and earth had been temporarily rent, I could “see” Jonah, the light of eternity glistening on his golden hair as he grinned at me, and I knew that he was more real–more alive–than the baby I held in my arms! In that moment, the Father assured me that even though I’d never hold Jonah in my arms again on this planet, I would enjoy him forever in heaven.
And that changed everything for me . . .
The things that are not seen are eternal! This world is just a shadow of what’s to come–Heaven is our real home, and such a glorious homecoming awaits! To this day, I can’t sing songs about heaven without weeping. Not from sadness or heartache (although that used to be the case), but from good, old-fashioned homesickness.
Not sure what prompted me to write about this subject, but the promise of better worlds to come comforts me as much today as it did then.
And I pray it will comfort you.
For now, we see through a glass dimly, but then, we shall see Him face to face . . .
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