Christian Articles to Encourage and Edify

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Suffering Series: Heaven's Perspective
by Donna L. Watkins

We have a Life Group in our home and we've been going through a workbook by Joni Eareckson Tada called, Heaven, Your Real Home." It's been an incredible revelation to view the details of Heaven and apply them to how we live our lives here on earth preparing for it.

It's so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day and not plan for the future. The statistics show that most people don't plan for retirement or college for their children. For many, taking one day at a time is about all that can be done.

Joni has been in a wheelchair, paralyzed from the neck down, since the age of 17 when she had a diving accident in 1968 and broke her neck. When we first began the workbook, I believe most of the group felt that she would certainly have a different perspective of Heaven than the rest of us since she had good reason to want to be in Heaven.

However, don't we all have good reason to be in Heaven? We've all lost loved ones and we all have hard and horrible days and periods of our lives. Heaven looks very inviting to all of us who are going there at some point in our lives. The thing that Joni pointed out was that it's the pain that makes us look to Heaven, which the Bible tells us is our real home. We are sojourners here on this earth, and we belong to a Kingdom not of this world. We should all be longing for Home, whether we are paralyzed or not. Here's a segment from her book entitled, "How Does Heaven Help Me Handle Today?"

Joni writes:
Heaven is a glorious vantage point from which to look down on my pain and problems. It's odd that it took a wheelchair - something that bolts me to earth - to make me see the futility of fighting spiritual battles on the earthly plane. When I attempted to live on the same low level as my bolts, gears, wheels and leather, I made blunder after blunder. I was powerless there until I shifted to a higher battleground and chose a different perspective.

Looking down on my problems from heaven's perspective, trials looked extraordinarily different. When viewed from its own level, my paralysis seemed like a huge, impassable wall; but when viewed from above, the wall appeared as a thin line, something that could be overcome. It was, I discovered with delight, a bird's eye view. It was the view of Isaiah 40:31: "Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

Eagles overcome the lower law of gravity by the higher law of flight, and what is true for birds is true for the soul. Souls that soar to heavens' heights on wings like eagles overcome the mud of earth that keeps us stuck to a temporal, limited perspective. If you want to see heaven's horizons, as well as place earth in your rearview mirror, all you need to do is stretch your wings and consider your trials from heaven's realms. Like the wall that becomes a thin line, you are able to see the other side, the happier outcome.

In this series we're going to explore the mystery of human suffering that is so evidently present on earth, which heaven enables us to endure while the suffering prepares us for Heaven.

Paul said in Romans 8:18, "I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us." Paul went through a lot of suffering and things that most of us can not even imagine. How could he pen these words? What perspective did he have that we can learn from to handle our own suffering in a better way?

This article is part of a series that begins here.

Christian Articles to Encourage and Edify

Donna Watkins photoArchived from the free email list, A Healing Moment.

Visit Donna at her website: The Nature In Us.

Please shop with us for your natural health supplements.

Copyright Information: Permission is granted for use of articles written by Donna L. Watkins if credit includes the author's name and an active link to this website.