Considering Heaven’s Perspective
Considering Heaven’s Perspective
Recently Vicky and I were visiting my 95 year-old mom in North Carolina where I grew up. One of the things we also did was visit the grave of my brother, Lloyd, who died in 1953 when he was 10 ½ months old and I was 4 ½ years old. At the time, his death was very sad to me and to our family, and it still is. Even now, I wrestle with God about what seems like his untimely death. At the same time I look forward very much to seeing him in heaven.
Since returning from Carolina, I have been thinking about the fleetingness of life. James 4:14 says, “You do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away." Earlier in that same chapter James writes: "You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely?” (James 14:4-5)
What I get from those scriptures is that life is very short. It will soon be over. Beyond it looms eternity—either heaven or hell--depending on whether we have received God’s free offer of salvation in His Son Jesus Christ and have walked in His grace.
The world and its concerns are seductive. Jesus told the story of a rich man who tore down his barns so that he could build bigger barns. He said to himself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take it easy. Eat, drink, and be merry!” Then according to Jesus, God said to him, “You fool! This very night your life will be required of you. Then who will own what you have accumulated?” Jesus added, “This is how it will be for anyone who stores up treasure for himself but is not rich toward God.”
Since life is a vapor, so temporary, and since the great danger to our souls is to concentrate on this world as if it were permanent, the antidote is to focus on the Lord and on eternity! Peter writes, “He (God) has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” (I Peter 1:4).
From the perspective of this world, the death of my little brother as an infant almost 65 years ago was a great unspeakable tragedy that has yet to be fully healed and cannot ever really be made right. But from the perspective of eternity? I suspect from that vantage point, where my brother even now is in the blessed presence of God with all His angels, that his getting there a few blinks of the eye before I did will no longer seem to be a tragedy of any sort at all. As Paul writes, “Death is swallowed up in victory.” (I Corinthians 15:54 quoting Isaiah 25:8)
Winfield Casey Jones is a retired pastor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. This column first appeared in the Pearland and Friendswood Reporter News.
I have seen you counsel and support three children dealing with the loss of close loved ones, one the loss of his mother and the loss of a brother for the other two. In my opinion, the ability you had in being able to connect with these children reflected the reality of Romans 8:28. Your pain of loss was the conduit that God used to bless these children. It also shows that Lloyd's life; however brief from our perspective, had value, purpose, and meaning. I'm sure that he is beaming with pride from heaven for his big brother.ReplyDelete