Hope is what we cling to when everything around us can be falling apart. Having hope keeps us motivated to keep on keeping on. In the original Star Wars movie Princess Leia sends out her plea, “Help us Obi Wan Kenobi, you’re our only hope.” Obi Wan answers.
When we embrace hope our confidence increases. We believe that things will get better. Proverbs 13:12 says,
Hope deferred makes the heart sick.
There is the hope in the earthly realm and the ultimate hope of the heavenly realm. In Titus 1:2, the Apostle Paul wrote,
In hope of eternal life, which God, cannot lie; promised before the world began.
Most of us will ponder the question sometime in our lives, “Is this all there is?”
There are several books written by people who have died and gone to heaven and returned to tell their story. Two books I’ve read personally are:
90 Minutes in Heaven and Heaven is for Real. The first is written by a pastor, Don Piper and the second is a story told by a four year old boy named Colton. I thoroughly enjoyed both stories. I thought the contrast was rather interesting, one experience by a pastor and the other a little boy.
Another book I’ve just discovered is written by a neurosurgeon, Eben Alexander III M. D. called Proof of Heaven. While I have not read Proof of Heaven as of this writing, I saw an interview about his experience. It was wonderful to hear his transformation from skeptic to believer.
Each of the experiences documented by each author has a congruency of themes including: love, beauty, connectedness, harmony, peace and bliss.
Dr. Alexander had a faith, but his faith was brought to life through his experience of being transported to heaven. He had contracted meningitis and was in a coma for seven days. My favorite part of the interview was the words he spoke coming out of his coma and how he described looking in the eyes of each family member and saying to each, “All is well.”
Hebrews 11:1 says,
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
I find these stories comforting. My ultimate goal is to live in the present moment. Sometimes, however, I find myself worrying about today and the future. In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus tells us:
Do not worry about your life. Can any of your worrying add a single hour to your life? Consider the lilies, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all of his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of field, which is alive today and tomorrow into the oven, how much more will he clothe you – you of little faith!
When we worry and become overwhelmed , we can lose hope. But this kingdom of heaven containing love, peace, connectedness, beauty, harmony and bliss is not one we have to wait for.
In the famous Lord’s prayer, Jesus said,
Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
When these earthly bodies wear out, it gives me great hope to hear about the glimpses of heaven. Instead of dreading or worrying about the future, we can feel at peace knowing the wonderful things God has in store for us on earth and in heaven.
Jesus continues to assure us of God’s love and tells us,
Do not be afraid little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
Keep hope alive and hold on to the words, “All is well,” because it is.
As a side note, Dr. Alexander now practices meditation where he finds he can return to being connected with God. If you have never tried meditation or need an easy meditation to guide you in feeling deeply connected to God, I’ve created three simple meditations called Be Still, Let it Go and Trust.
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