Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A Taste of Heaven on Earth

As mentioned in my previous post, I'm reading the book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn. It's got me thinking no matter how beautiful or wonderful something is here on earth, it will pale in comparison to the heavenly equivalent. However, I think that sometimes God gives us a taste of the heavenly to encourage us onward.

One sampling of heaven that I was blessed to receive happened late summer 2003. I remeber it vividly. After an extraordinarily stressful couple of years, my employer of 21 years had declared bankruptcy and closed its doors. While I went directly to another job, it was at a substantial pay cut and it was not a great work atmosphere. And to top it all off, my dog, Coach, was dying.

Coach was old and suffering from arthritis. Pain and confusion made him wake me every two hours every night for months and I was suffering emotionally and physically. In fact, there were many an evening when I couldn't even recall driving home from work.

One afternoon, I was visiting at the Barblings' home. It was a warm summer day. I was sitting in a chair in a sunny corner of the family room with the heat seaping in to my achy bones. I could hear the girls outside, laughing and playing. Dad Barbling was mowing the lawn and I could hear the monotone droning hum of the lawnmower (which I find ALMOST as soothing as the sound of the vacuum cleaner - but that's another story). And Mom Barbling was sitting on the couch folding laundry, as we talked. I fell asleep - I don't know for how long. Two minutes? Two hours? No idea. I just remember that when I woke up I felt as if I'd had the most perfect sleep in my life. And no one thought it was odd that Miss Barb was taking a nap in their family room.

Some days when life is horrible, when I'm exhausted or upset or lonely, I remember that afternoon. In heaven, through the course of eternity, I will have many more experiences like that - perfect peace and rest; where you'll feel so at home that you can take a nap wherever, whenever you need with no one thinking it rude or strange.

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