Recently I was sitting in the living room reading while my daughter was playing. Her imagination has really started to take off as of lately, and on this particular morning she was pretending that she was fighting off monsters. While she was playing she was pretending to be shooting the monsters that were following her. As she shot each of the monsters, she would say, “you’re dead, off to heaven you go.” I asked here why she was saying that. Her response to me took me a little off guard. She said, “Mom, you remember Alfie. (Alfie was my in-laws pet guinea pig that had died just a week earlier. We had explained to her that he had died and she wouldn’t see him the next time she was at grandma’s house. She had asked us where he went, and we had told her that he was in heaven with great-grandma Svehla, and that she would see her again someday) Well, Alfie went to Heaven when he died, so the monsters go to heaven too when they died.”
While I was happy that she had remembered this conversation from a week earlier regarding the death of Alfie, it also got me thinking about how to really teach her what happens to us when we die and how we can be sure that we are headed to heaven. Granted, she’s only 3, and I’m not sure how much of this conversation that she will be able to comprehend, but I want to start planting those seeds in her mind now, so that they can be watered and grow into faith and truth as she continues to get older.
The Lord has continued to cultivate these thoughts in my mind over the past week or so. I’m sure that most of you reading this blog today, are well aware of the recent tragic deaths of Ty and Terri Schenzel last week. I didn’t know them personally, but I had attended services at Waypoint and had heard Ty preach a few times, as well as attended a Hope Filled Marriage Seminar with them a few years ago. One thing that is very clear from spending any time with those two, is that they had an eternal view and knew what was at stake with those who were lost in our community, and they devoted their lives to spreading the gospel and bringing people closer to Christ.
I’ve also started reading a book by Francis and Lisa Chan, titled You and Me Forever. It’s not quite what I expected in a marriage book. Most of the marriage books that I’ve read talk about focusing on your spouse and fulfilling their needs, and helping you understand what your spouse’s greatest needs are. But the beginning of this book is quite different. The first chapter of the book addresses your relationship with God. Specifically, they talk about what it will be like when we meet God in heaven. I read through Revelation 4 and 5 as a part of an activity for this chapter, and then sat with my eyes closed and imagined what it would be like when I first meet God face-to-face. While I didn’t quite get a feel for what my reaction is, my vision of what I saw was pretty incredible, and seems to line up with scripture. All I saw was pure white light and a figure walking towards me, and i was speechless.
What about you? When you imagine or picture meeting God for the first time, what will that be like? Will you want to sing the praises, or will you fall as His knees in repentance? Or will your reaction be like my vision, where you will stand there is utter awe of the glory that you are witnessing?
The chapter went on to talk about how if we view every moment of our life, preparing for that moment of meeting God for the first time, how will it change how you live your life. And what would you do differently to make sure that those around you are preparing for that moment.
It was pretty eye opening for me. As of lately life has been pretty busy for me, and so my focus on God and making sure I am preparing and filing myself has not been the main focus. Survival through the day has been the focus. And I’m hesitant to share my faith or what God is doing in my life with those around me. But after the events of the past week with the deaths of the Schenzels and reading that first chapter in the Chan’s book, I had a renewed sense of urgency to realign my priorities and focus on what is most important, God.
Here’s to focusing more on God and preparing to meet him this week 🙂