The way

Sometimes we think of death as a scary final experience. That’s how movies tend to show it. A big black hole.  Sad, dark and mysterious.  The end for us.  A time for mourning.

But when I suddenly confronted death face to face, to my surprise, I found I had no fear! Gazing into heaven, I found peace…profound peace and safety.

And where I had expected darkness, I found bright light and vivid colors!  Bold clear blue skies and beautiful golden grass. Things on earth were indeed fading into chaos and gray darkness. But heaven, by contrast, looked welcome to me.

The Holy Spirit invited me, “Patty, do you want to go home?  …It’s time to go home with Jesus.”

He called heaven my home.  As a believer in Jesus, as a child of God, I belong there. Heaven is a warm, safe, wonderful place reserved for God and His children.  The Bible says that we are not aliens entering into a foreign country–but God’s own beloved family, finally joining Him in glory.  God is our Father.  He rejoices to have us with Him forever. He has heaps of blessings stored up for us there.

Of course, heaven is not waiting for everyone who passes away from this life into the next. Many people choose to reject Jesus.  And by doing so, they reject heaven and its rewards.  Jesus loves every person, and He will give you many chances to change your heart toward Him.  But if you continue to reject Jesus on earth, He will allow you to face the consequences of your choice even on your dying day.  He will still love you.  But He will not stand in the way of your free choice to go your own way.

The Bible prescribes only one sure path to heaven–through faith in Jesus.  “Believe in Jesus and you will be saved, you and your household”  (Acts 16:31).  “I am the way, the truth and the life, Jesus said clearly.  “No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).

Jesus is the only way. Choose Jesus.

If you believe in Jesus as the Lord your God, and if you have surrendered your life to Him, you need have no fear in dying.  You can rest assured.  You won’t have to pass any more tests or try to justify yourself to get into heaven.  Jesus has already paid the price for your free admission into heaven.  He paid for you with His own life.  He gave Himself for you.  Now you are saved.  You are not trying to get saved.  You are already saved. And heaven is your home, waiting for you.

When it is your time to go home, you won’t have to knock. The door is open. Just walk right on in.  Free and clear.  Welcome home!

 

Check out this fun video, or catch the lyrics at http://www.lyricshall.com/lyrics/Mavis+Staples/Dont+Knock/

 

Love story

So there I was–on my way to heaven, ready to cross the threshold to the other side. God’s peace was so inviting, so welcoming.  Crossing over would be easy.  Just relax and let go. There was no fear in going home to Jesus. The battle on earth, by contrast, was raging fierce and chaotic.  Heaven looked good to me.

Then I had the impression that my trip to heaven could be a brief one.  I felt sorry about leaving my husband Jim alone.  To encourage him, I declared desperately, “I’m coming back!  I’m coming back!”

With that, both Jim and the dentist realized that I was leaving.  Alarmed, they began to call me back, telling me to stay.  I paid no attention to the dentist, who seemingly could not believe this was happening nor that it could be his fault.  He told his assistant, who was praying, to call 911.

Jim grabbed my hands, praying.  He got in my face, up close.  He spoke my name.  I opened my eyes.  Everything had faded to gray now–except for Jim.   His face shone brightly with love.  He was not sad or fearful, as I expected.  But full of faith and love, he insisted that I stay with him.  Stay alive.  “Patty,” he repeated in my ear.  “I  love you. It’s not time to go.  Come back.  We need you.”

Focusing on his face, I was deeply touched by his love.  At that moment, we made a heart connection.  And I decided to stay on earth and fight for life with Jim.  Heaven would have to wait.

The EMTs arrived and found me mostly unresponsive.  They drove me to the hospital emergency room, where I was treated for severe allergic reaction to septocaine.  After several hours treatment, I was out of danger.   The doctor released me to go home (to my house) to continue my recovery.

When we got home, Jim and I began to sort out what had happened.  Still groggy from the drugs, I told him about God calling me home, seeing the portal to heaven and how Jim’s plea with me to stay had made the difference.  We both realized how close I had come to death and how merciful God had been to keep me alive.  Praise the Lord of glory!

Life is so precious, so valuable, so temporary.  We need to thank God for each and every day He gives us on earth, filled with His hopes and blessings.

As happy as I was to be alive and in my own home again, I still had to wonder if I had gone against God’s will for my life.  Had I made a mistake by not going to heaven, choosing life on earth?  I came to understand later that God in His wisdom had planned and orchestrated the whole event.  He had inspired Jim’s love, which anchored me to earth.  We were closer than ever before.

Jim’s love kept you alive yesterday.  I was ready to take you home.  You were ready to go.  But Jim’s love kept you breathing, fighting.

The power of Jim’s love saved your life,”  the Lord explained.  “God’s LOVE shining through Jim saved your life.  Remember, his face was golden, lit up by faith and love.

“All things are possible.   Only believe.  LOVE never fails.”

 

LOVE never fails.                               1 Corinthians 13:8

 

Sounds like heaven

An open door

 

“All will be well,” the Lord had promised me.

You cannot get a better guarantee than that.  And from the Guarantor Himself!  I had prayed this day through in advance.  And God had given me peace about it.  So I confidently climbed into the dentist’s chair for some repairwork to an old tooth filling. No problem, no worries, I told myself.   God would see me through safely.  I was in His hands.

I tried to forget that some twenty years before, I had experienced a severe allergic reaction to a local anesthetic at another dentist’s office.  Dizziness, trouble breathing, blue fingernails, etc…. The villain that day was carbocaine.  A dose of benadryl quickly turned most of my symptoms around.  The dentist called my husband Jim, who was able to drive me home, where I soon recovered.

Since then, Jim always accompanies me on dental visits–just in case the unexpected happens.

Now for the first time in twenty years, I was going to need another shot of local anesthetic.   This dentist was confident that I would have no problem with septocaine, a cousin of the first drug.  He minimized my history of allergy and made no provision for a possible bad reaction.  He had been my dentist for some twenty years, and so I trusted him.

But as he slowly, painfully injected the poison into my mouth, I knew something dreadful was happening.  I tried to stop him.  I murmured.   But I could not speak.   I realized that I was not breathing.  I reminded myself to concentrate and and make the effort to keep air coming in and out on purpose.

When he finally stopped the injection, I told him something was really wrong.  I could not explain.

“I apply the Blood of Jesus over me,”  I declared. “No weapon formed against me shall prosper!” (Isaiah 54:17).

My hand began to thrash about wildly beyond my control.  I was gasping loudly for air. Then I stopped breathing again.  The room grew dark and faded away.

I heard a voice say, “Home….  Do you want to go home?”

Yes, for sure, I thought.  I longed to go home to my pretty, safe, comfortable house, many miles away.   But I could not see a way to get there from here right now!

“It’s time to go home with Jesus,” the Holy Spirit told me.

Gradually I understood what He was saying.  I looked up and saw a portal to another place.  It was bright and colorful.  Blue skies and tall golden grass.  The sense of peace there was magnetic, drawing me in.  I was eager to escape the chaos of the battle on earth.  If God said it was my time to go to Jesus, I was ready to go.  Heaven looked welcome to me.

 

 

Jesus said, “I am the door.  If anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.”                                                          John 10:9

 

 

Photo by Cliff LeSergent/Alamy Stock Photo

Welcome home!

Welcome to you, my friends.  Welcome to the threshold of heaven.  May you be blessed in your journey.   God is so good to us, and the best is yet to come.

I pray for a spirit of wisdom and revelation to overtake you, in Jesus’ Name.