Believers live in joyful anticipation of gifts from heaven. “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the human heart conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Cor 2:9). These gifts God has revealed in his Word through the Holy Spirit.
An information and technology entrepreneur Steve Jobs (1955–2011) said, “No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.” Christians ought to rejoice that after death heaven awaits them. It’s a great promise after facing the trials and tribulations of life.
As believers it isn’t unusual to experience bits of heaven on earth. Jules Renard (1864–1910), a French author and member of the Académie Goncourt wrote, “On earth there is no heaven, but there are pieces of it.” But people express this reality in distinctly different ways. It’s a blessing to be positive in a broken and sinful world.
Much of how people view life has to do with their knowledge. How they have been raised, their experiences, and what they end up believing. William Shakespeare (1564–1616), an English poet and playwright wrote, “Ignorance is the curse of God; knowledge is the wing wherewith we fly to heaven.” Many will agree that it’s better to have understanding than to be in the dark. It’s people’s belief that with knowledge they will make good decisions. However, merely knowing isn’t the answer. It takes understanding, and belief in a just, and caring God.
Gautama Buddha (563/ 480 BC–483/400 BC), an Indian ascetic and founder of Buddhism explained, “It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell.” Buddha and Shakespeare were in agreement that to be successful people have to be masters of their destinies.
Our Gifts of Realities
Gifts of divine realities are wrapped up by the way people view the world. These secrets are in elements we take for granted. William Blake (1757–1827), an English poet and painter wrote, “To see the world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower holds infinity in the palms of your hand and eternity in an hour.” Such realizations boggle the mind. With every touch people comes face to face with eternity in complex, and amazing ways.
Living on earth is a part of cycles. Tryon Edwards (1809–1894), a theologian best known for compiling A Dictionary of Thoughts reminded us: “Every parting is a form of death, as every reunion is a type of heaven.” Thus by living and dying daily help people prepare for the blessings of our heavenly home.