Is There a Place for you in Heaven?
“But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”—” (1 Corinthians 2:9, ESV)
My great-grandmother died of cancer in her home in the 1940's. She wasn’t very old. She still had a beauty about her. I know that because my grandmother and two great aunts told me about that day. My great-grandmother’s three children were by her side when she breathed her last. The three were watching their mother while their father made preparations for his wife’s looming death. The children knew the time was close to their mother’s passing. She had been in a coma for hours. They expected her to quietly pass away in her sleep. She did not. On that morning when she died, my grandmother spoke a few words, then passed away. All three girls were there to witness those words. All three were surprised she even spoke. In her last moments of life, my great-grandmother Luella simply came to and stated, “It’s so beautiful. Look at all the flowers!” A few minutes later, she was gone.
When we found out my niece had leukemia at age 32, we were devastated. Young Stephanie had stayed with us several times and was very close to my heart. She was bright and had a beautiful intelligence and charisma. Her deep faith was pure joy. We talked and prayed with her during her final months. Sadly, we were unable to be with her in her last moments of life. However, Stephanie was not alone. She, too, came out of the coma she had been in and said a few last words that her family shared with me. In Stephanie’s final moments, her face brightened, and she exclaimed “Wow! Wow! Wow!”
In both of these situations, the family that witnessed the final words of each person claimed that they believed each had been given a glimpse of heaven. For my great-grandmother, the beauty of heaven with all the flowers was overwhelming. Stephanie hardly had words, and she was a lover of English prose! It is truthful to say that both women who died were amazed at a sight before them. I wish it were heaven. I wouldn’t be surprised if it were.
In history, those who were given a glimpse of heaven have often spoke of beauty of the place. When John of Patmos, who wrote Revelation, described what he saw, the beauty and grandeur of the place was also overwhelming. He saw gold streets with lots of colors. He saw an ornate throne. Heaven was filled with singing and light, peace and prosperity. John of Patmos even wrote that in heaven there was “no mourning, no crying, nor pain evermore” (Revelation 21:4). In that beautiful place, tears would be wiped away and death would be forever banished. The Biblical view of heaven has been so powerful and beautiful for so long that people even adopted the English word, “heavenly”, to describe those things that were beautiful and wonderful beyond belief.
We are taught that the faithful will have a place in heaven. When you devote your life to Christ, you will have a seat at the table in heaven. Barring your rejection of God, heaven will be your future home. When you breathe your last, it will be what you see next!
In the scripture for today, the Apostle Paul wrote about heaven. He declared that heaven was a place set apart not only to display the glory of God but also as a place to glorify those who stand by God (1 Corinthians 2:7). It was a place filled with God’s essence and light. It was to be a place where no suffering would occur and the faithful could have constant access to their Savior. Heaven was made by God to reflect His own power, full of beauty and wonder and awe and peace. That’s why Paul claimed in the scripture for today that the “human heart cannot imagine what God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). Your first glimpse of heaven will knock your socks off! It will be overwhelmingly wonderful, just like the grace of God!
After pondering the scripture for today from the Apostle Paul, Max Lucado wrote:
“It doesn’t take a wise person to know that people long for more than earth. When we see pain, we yearn. When we see hunger, we question why. Senseless deaths. Endless tears, needless loss.…
We have our moments. The newborn on our breast, the bride on our arm, the sunshine on our back. But even those moments are simply slivers of light breaking through heaven’s window. God flirts with us. He tantalizes us. He romances us. Those moments are appetizers for the dish that is to come.
“No one has ever imagined what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Cor. 2:9).
What a breathtaking verse! Do you see what it says? Heaven is beyond our imagination. … At our most creative moment, at our deepest thought, at our highest level, we still cannot fathom eternity.” (Max Lucado, Grace for the Moment, p. 279)
Your faith will at times cause you suffering. You will be tempted by Satan. Unsavory people will attack your belief in Almighty God. You will have to do what is right, even when it costs you. You will need to hold onto God even when others mock you. Worldly wise people may call you “backward” or “childish” for your unwavering faith in God. You might even die while standing firm in your faith. Despite it all, persevere! Hang in there. Heaven is not far off! It will be beautiful. It will be wonderful. It will be worth it!