“… for we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Cor. 5:7)
For Christmas, several years ago, someone gave me the book, Proof of Heaven by Dr. Eben Alexander. In this book, he describes having a near-death experience while being in a coma.
Before this experience, Dr. Alexander wasn’t a person of faith. While he was in this coma, he felt like he had met an angel, who gave him three messages. First, you are loved. Second, you have nothing to fear. Third, you can do no wrong.
Although I thought Dr. Alexander’s harrowing account quite inspiring, I struggled with the angel’s messages. Yes, I believe I’m loved. And yes, I believe that with Jesus, I should fear no evil. But doing no wrong seemed naïve, self-serving, and a denial of our fallen human condition.
As I read this book during the Christmas holidays, and as I thought about the staggering good news of God giving His son as a baby, I continued to think and pray about the angel’s messages.
What was God’s message when he asked Jesus to come to this earth? We’re loved with a love we can’t fully comprehend.
What was God’s message when He asked Jesus to take on our flesh? We’ve nothing to fear, for Jesus is always with us.
What was God’s message when He asked Jesus to go to the cross? We can do no wrong greater than His mercy, for no sin is greater than His grace.
Unless we’ve had a near-death experience like Dr. Alexander, not many of us could give “proof” of heaven. What we have aren’t proofs of heaven but glimpses of heaven. I think that’s what Paul suggests when he says, “we walk by faith, not by sight.”
Although we might like to have proof of heaven, most of us wouldn’t choose to go through a near-death experience to get one. Instead of feeling like our glimpses of heaven are somehow wanting, I encourage us to cherish them. Our glimpses of heaven can transform our lives. And, our glimpses are enough for us to trust that we’re loved, that we’ve nothing to fear, and that we can do no wrong greater than God’s grace.
- How do you respond to the angel’s three messages?
- Have you ever received the assurance that this life isn’t all there is, that God has more life for you, and that, finally, nothing can ever separate you from His love?
- I believe that Jesus will someday take us to heaven. I also believe that Jesus gives and brings some of heaven to us right now. How has Jesus brought the presence, peace, and hope of heaven to you?