Updated: Dec 4, 2018
A few days ago, I got back from an amazing honeymoon with my even more amazing wife. It was one of the most “heavenly” experiences I’ve ever had. All the food, all the sex, all the beach, all the beauty, all the adventures, did I mention all the sex? And did I mention our wedding before the honeymoon? It was breathtaking. It all felt like a dream. It felt like “heaven.”
I’m not going to lie, it got to the point where I started thinking that this was all too good to be true. I thought marriage couldn’t possibly be this sweet and started anticipating the thing that would take it all away. (Side note: I'm only a week and a few days into marriage, but I can already confidently say that fear is an enemy to marriage.) Instead of focusing on my fear of things going wrong, I should have been focusing on the things that Jesus has called me to focus on. (Philippians 4:8)
Very soon after having these thoughts, my wife and I had an argument that went way further than it needed to go, ON OUR HONEYMOON. I started to feel justified in my initial thoughts. “You see!? I knew this was all too good to be true, we couldn’t even make it past the honeymoon without having a conflict!”
What could have been an easily worked through conflict went way further than it needed to go because of fear.
Here’s the deal. Heaven is possible on earth, at least glimpses of it. Jesus made this clear throughout scripture. He often encouraged us to yearn for it! When He taught the disciples how to pray, He said:
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:9-10
Heaven is more than a far off, ethereal place. Heaven is where the presence of God resides. And fear cannot coexist with the presence of God...
....(1 John 4:18).
That’s why I put heaven and heavenly in quotation marks in the beginning of the blog. Heaven is more than great views and great sex...much more.
Do you ever wonder how life can feel so heavenly one moment and so hellish the next? Many of us have been there. But I've come to believe that heaven on earth begins with our perspective, not our experience. This isn't to make light of those who really do feel like they are going through hell right now. My hope is that those ones would find encouragement, in knowing that although your circumstances feel like hell, your perspective can make glimpses of heaven a reality.
Heaven is an inside out business. Heaven starts in the internal and naturally bleeds into the external. So when the presence of God is where we are choosing to view life from, it is there that we will see heaven reign in our lives.
Yearn for heaven now, not when you die...
...and no, I’m not talking about in the things that seem heavenly like sex, or beaches, or amazing food. I’m talking about in Christ!
I learned a big lesson. Although my wedding and honeymoon were completely amazing, when all those things are over, I can still experience heaven with my wife here on earth. I can still die to my flesh and throw fear into the trash can. I can still choose to see the best in her. I can still hold her and kiss her forehead when she is stressed. I can still laugh about the silliest things with her. I can still worship with her every day. I can still love her like Christ loved the church. That’s more like heaven to me.