Another place filled in heaven. Just this past week a dear friend’s journey of pain ended as he took his last breath of earthly air and entered the welcoming arms of his Savior. “Why” questions have now been answered. When enveloped in the reassuring arms of Jesus, such questions disappear into nothingness. What could we possibly wonder about when our deepest longings have been satisfied?
Recently I read about a man whose relationship with Jesus was so personal that friends and family said heaven wouldn’t be a surprise since he had developed such an intimate walk with his Lord here on earth. What would that be like? Perhaps it is living each moment so focused on Christ that he is my automatic “default” setting. When my mind swirls with the practical activities of the day, he is as near as my thoughts. When I wonder if the pay check will last, “don’t worry about tomorrow” slips in to bring settled peace. When irritations with others pluck at my peace, he gently asks me to set aside my perceived privileges, taking on the real privileges of servanthood. When I sorrow over our friend’s death, his voice whispers, “I too wept when my friend died.”
But just as with any other discipline, these responses need to be practiced. Perhaps I need to set the timer every hour to remind me to specifically turn my eyes upon Jesus. Or maybe wear a bracelet so my attention is caught as I see or feel the beads. Or maybe notes on my desk, near the phone and on the kitchen counter with just the word “Jesus” written on them.
“Be still and know that I am God.” Such stilling, such knowing is not merely a weekly or monthly practice. If the hourly habit is being formed, then when news comes, when tears flow, when storms shatter, I will be still. I have practiced the knowing with my head and it is penetrating into my heart. I will be learning to increasingly think like Jesus, who “because he never lost sight of where he was headed–that exhilarating finish in and with God–he could put up with anything along the way…”* Heavenly thinking will become my earthly habit.
* Hebrews 12:2 (The Message)