Exploring the meaning of life…

Posts tagged ‘heaven’

When that which is perfect has finally come…

Today I found myself humming  an old hymn that we used to sing in our church when I was young – “He lives.”  It’s funny how many times we can sing a song and never really pay attention to the words.  Here are some of the words:

“I serve a risen Saviour                                      
He’s in the world today.
I know that He is living
no matter what men say.

I see His hand in mercy,
I hear his voice of cheer,
And just the time I need him,
He’s always near.

He lives, He lives,
Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me
Along life’s narrow way.” Alfred Ackley

Like me, you may have heard many sermons about what it means to “walk with God.”  The Bible says that Enoch and Adam both walked with God, but what does that really mean?  Some will say that it is a literal translation – that God walked beside each one of these men here on earth.  Others will say that it is a metaphor for having a close, loving relationship with God.  Perhaps they are both right, but it has come to mean something else to me.

Years ago, a close friend of mine wrote an essay that I just couldn’t understand at the time.   He talked about what happens when a student and that which he studies become one in the same. I thought this was an absurd idea!  Was he saying that if we study history long enough, we become history?  That didn’t make any sense to me.  If we study math, do we become math?  I’ve actually thought about it many times over that last couple of decades and finally realized that he meant this in the spiritual realm only, not in the physical “real” world around us.  In that context, it finally made sense to me.  How wonderful to reach a time in our lives when we become one and the same with God – when we no longer know where we stop and God begins!  Could that be what Jesus meant when he said, “The Father and I are One?”  Every now and then, I have a brief and fleeting moment in which I comprehend what Jesus meant.  I catch sight of what it means to love God so completely that there is nothing else but love.  In that moment, everything makes sense and is so glorious that there are no words to describe it.

The Apostle Paul wrote that we only know in part now – we are limited by our earthly minds.  We can’t comprehend the whole story yet, but someday we will.  Paul goes on to say that when that which is perfect has finally come, we are whole and our parts cease to be.  That is when the student and that which he studies become one.  And the brief and fleeting moments when I have experienced that continue to lead me to a full realization of what that will be like.  For me, that is what is meant by “heaven.”

Have a happy journey!  


90 Minutes in Heaven

 We all probably have different ideas about what heaven looks like.  This is one man’s story.

Don Piper attended the Baptist General Convention of Texas in January 1989 which was held at a conference center, Trinity Pines, on the north shore of Lake Livingston.  When the conference ended, Piper left to drive home to Alvin, Texas, a suburban area of Houston.  It was raining and freezing, making the roadways unsafe.   He was hit head-on by an eighteen-wheeler.  The impact was guessed to be about 110 miles an hour.  Piper was declared dead at 11:45 am by paramedics that responded to the accident.  They reported no pulse, no signs of breathing and no blood pressure.  His body was extremely mangled, and he suffered tremendous head injuries.  They would have needed the  Arms of Life to free him, but since he was declared dead at the scene, they never made the call.

Don Piper at wreck site

Also leaving the conference were two of its speakers, Dick and Anita Onarecker.  Hearing of the horrible wreck, Dick felt compelled by God to go and pray for Piper, although they didn’t know him.  They parked their vehicle and walked about a half mile in the freezing rain to reach the site of the wreck.  The police were waiting for a car to deliver Piper’s body to the morgue.  It was now 1:15 and according to the paramedics Piper had been dead for about 90 minutes, no pulse, no breathing.  When Dick and his wife reached the site, they asked if they could pray for him.  They were repeatedly told that the man was dead.  Still, Dick felt that God wanted him to pray for Piper.  He was finally told that he could pray for him, but to not look under the tarp because he was a mangled, bloody mess.  He was still in the driver’s seat and covered by a tarp.

Dick put his hand on Piper’s shoulder and began to pray.  After Dick prayed, he began to sing “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.”  It was the first thing Piper remembered hearing.  Although in very critical condition, Piper regained consciousness.  He remembered many things about what he saw in heaven during those 90 minutes and has since written a book, 90 Minutes in Heaven.  He shares his story with anyone that asks him and gives God the glory.

If you have ever had a similiar experience, please share it under comments.

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