A couple of weeks ago, I caught part of a documentary called, “The Evidence for Heaven.” One of the people being interviewed said that usually, if someone has a near death experience and sees Heaven, they no longer fear death. I believe that. I’ve said it here before that I feel like we got a glimpse of Heaven the day our babies were born. Thought it wasn’t a visual glimpse, it was a spiritual one. My perspective on death has certainly changed. I don’t really fear it now. Heaven still seems closer. It’s almost like I can see it through the rain.
With that in mind, I’ve thought a lot lately about perspectives in general, and how life events can change them so drastically. Our daughter lived seven hours and 13 minutes… and for her, that was a long time (how could 7 hours and 13 minutes of life seem long??). Life seems so much more fragile. I connect with so many songs and scripture passages on a deeper level. The old Hymns about Heaven speak more closely to my heart. I think of death as painful to those left behind, but very much joyful for one who has entered into a Heavenly home. I feel more focused on what matters. Many petty things that seemed important before have lost their thrill. This world is so temporary, and it’s important to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you have a relationship that is right with God.
Those who do not know God on a personal level need to hear this clearly: God loves you. He allows you to make your own decisions, and you have the choice whether or not to love Him in return, but He created you because He loves you and has a plan for you. He wants you to love Him (put Him first and put self aside). He wants a relationship with you. Individually you. He wants you to be prepared so when the time comes to leave this world, you can join Him in the place He created for you.
We’re all individuals, and by nature, self-absorbed to a degree (some more than others, but everyone has a self-centered nature). We can’t help it, we only know about the world through our own eyes and mind. We can’t read one another’s thoughts or feel one another’s feelings. We weren’t designed that way- that’s the gift of being individuals. However, we can make an effort to understand where someone else is coming from.
Have you ever embarrassed yourself or gotten into a predicament because you based your reaction to a situation on your own, limited perspective or misunderstanding? I’m sure we probably all have. I’m sure we’ve all probably also been hurt by others who make comments or take action without knowing or understanding the full story. We see it all the time. People say uninformed things that, if they knew the whole story, I’d like to think they’d never dream of saying. When people ask if Paxton is our first child, it’s hurtful. It seems like we’re leaving
out if we just say yes and nothing more. Of course… people who ask that have no way of knowing our story or that such a simple, well-intentioned question could be hurtful. They’re not expected to know. Carys
Even so, there’s a big difference in being self-centered by nature and self-centered by choice. I think that’s part of the gift of free will that God gave us. We have the choice to be selfish (sinful) and concern ourselves only with our own wants and needs, or to put others first and try to understand the world from a broader perspective. Scripture says that God is Love (1 John 4:8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. – NIV), and that love is not self-seeking (go read 1 Corinthians 13). If we want to be sure our relationship with God is healthy, we have to change our perspective outward rather than in toward self.
We tend to worry about so many insignificant things in this world that, in the grand scheme of things, don’t really matter. What really matters is where we stand in our relationship with God. Are you loving God, or are you loving self? Only one way will get you to your Heavenly home. I don’t know about you, but I want to see my Heavenly Father and my loved ones who have gone on. I want to once again hold my daughter.
I am still amazed at what a huge impact has been made by a sweet little 3 lb baby girl. She’s changed my perspective on many things… and I believe that’s why God blessed me with the privilege of being her mommy.
2 Corinthians 5
New International Version (NIV)
2 Corinthians 5
Awaiting the New Body
1 For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. 2 Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, 3 because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. 4 For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5 Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.6 Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. 7 For we live by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9 So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.
The Ministry of Reconciliation
11 Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience. 12 We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart. 13 If we are “out of our mind,” as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin[b] for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
- 2 Corinthians 5:17 Or Christ, that person is a new creation.
- 2 Corinthians 5:21 Or be a sin offering