My visit with my dear Ed last week brought me such joy. I pulled out a small container of pumpkin pie and hot tea from my pink travel bag in his room. After feeding him a bite, I asked how it tasted. “Good!” The hot tea tasted like soup to him, and finally, after some thought, he settled on Emily-Tea.
I began to read the current Scriptural Snippet to Ed. He listened and began to respond. I leaned forward to catch every word. He talked about the joy of Heaven. “Next time Jesus comes, I want him to bring a piece of Heaven, so I can taste it!”
It has been over a week, and still his statement rolls around in my mind. A Taste of Heaven. Can we find a piece of Heaven on Earth? Not until we learn to love like Jesus, do we begin to understand Heaven. God is love, and Heaven is built on a foundation of His Love. God’s kind of love brings peace and joy through sacrifice and service exemplified by Jesus on this earth.
Exodus 16 reveals the puzzled response of the Israelites when they did not recognize God’s leading from slavery in Egypt. God led them day and night. When they were hungry, God fed them with quail and Manna from Heaven so they would know He is their Father. When they saw the Manna on the ground, their faces were as blank as children in school trying to learn complicated concepts. Moses explains and yet they turn from God. Years later, Jesus arrives on earth, our Manna from Heaven. Do we turn away in unbelief and puzzlement relying on our own understanding?
Heaven is the compass of our reality that gives our lives meaning by living in joyful praise. Heaven captures our hearts and our minds. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory. Colossians 3:2-4
Will we recognize a ‘piece of Heaven’ on earth? Where we find God’s love in action, we find a piece of Heaven! Will we know what to do with it? God never says complain and whine and you will see me! Apostle Paul had two desires. He knew the reality of Heaven. For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don’t know which is better. I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me. But for your sakes, it is better that I continue to live. Philippians 1:23
One evening I sat down, ready to study and realized I had finished my current course of study. What would I do? Just as God’s mercies are new each day, so is learning about our unseen God. When we are face to face with our Father in Heaven, we find out we have much more to learn.
Jesus came to teach us how to love and He bore the payment/sacrifice for our sins to make us Heaven-Ready if we but believe. Grace is a free gift, it isn’t what we do, but what we believe and how we live that translates into Heaven for us.
We are pulled in a tug of war – we want to be where the action is on this earth. We often become addicted to activities and attitudes in these places. We lose sight of living for and in Christ. We no longer see the treasures of the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
Day by day, if we resist the tug to earthly things, but hold tight to our Lord Jesus Christ, we gain the sweet fruit of living for Jesus. We love others and the world knows Jesus. We find a joy that is in Christ and peace that washes away earthly turmoil. We gather the sweetness of love that shows in living lives of kindness, goodness, and gentleness. We learn the patience, waiting for others and patience with ourselves. We learn to wait on the Lord, for in His Name, He leads us. Our faithfulness to God becomes eternal, deep and wide, beyond time. The self-control helps us to ‘bite our tongue’ against impulsive words or actions not pleasing to our steadfast God.
Yes, dear Husband, you taste Heaven each day as you succumb to the depths of dementia, depending on others for everything. I learn from your patience, kindness, and acceptance. God has given me a deep appreciation for the care you receive from others. How often I long for our home in Heaven.
This is our wilderness of learning to trust our Lord God and this trust brings a depth of peace I would not know without this time in our lives.
Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7
But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31
When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.” John 14:3
But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world filled with God’s righteousness. And so, dear friends, while you are waiting for these things to happen, make every effort to be found living peaceful lives that are pure and blameless in his sight. 2 Peter 3:13-14
No longer will there be a curse upon anything. For the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there, and his servants will worship him. And they will see his face, and his name will be written on their foreheads. And there will be no night there—no need for lamps or sun—for the Lord God will shine on them. And they will reign forever and ever. Revelation 22:3-5