Visions of Heaven

 I guess I’ve always lived a little bit in my own world, or more precisely, a little bit out of this world. Things like poetry and nature and daydreams make more sense to me than the commonly accepted world of humanity. While the stream of my thoughts might flow uninhibited while I ponder the pattern of raindrops or the source of a breeze, a crowded room brings my thoughts tripping over themselves to a graceless halt. Perhaps it means I’m socially awkward, or a little poorly adjusted, but I like to think that it means I am even slightly attuned to the atmosphere of Heaven. 
 
Of course, that’s not to say that a room full of people doesn’t have miraculous potential. When the Spirit is present in a room full of believers, that is just about the closest to Heaven I think I will ever be on Earth. For me, however, I can be easily distracted by worldly things. When I am free from those distractions, I think my soul always goes to a place of yearning. 
 
I believe, all of us are yearning for something more than Earth. Humanity was created to live in paradise with God, a reality that Adam and Eve were able to inhabit until The Fall. The reality we dwell in now is nothing like the paradise for which we were created. Hence a sense of longing or yearning or even just a realization that we were meant for something more. 
 
I think that we have a tendency to bury that yearning under distractions provided by our physical world. When it comes to missing the heavenly, we seem to think that out of sight means out of mind. We ignore the longing and don’t even glance toward the things that remind us of Heaven, because we think that will only bring what we are missing into sharper relief. 
 
But what if we have it backwards? What if… the more we look for Heaven, the more we begin to see it here. God has taught me that He is still doing miracles, I just had to train my eyes to see them. Living in a posture of prayer and gratitude is so incredibly helpful to recognizing the prayers He is answering in our lives. The more you look in gratitude, the more you see He has moved, and the more you see He has moved, the more you begin to look in gratitude. 
 
I heard something in a teaching this year (it was actually Aaron Vickroy who was teaching). He told us that when you go outside to look at the stars at night, it actually takes half an hour for your eyes to adjust so that you can see more stars. He said, “our eyes have to calibrate to the stars”. In a similar way, our eyes (and minds) have to calibrate to the atmosphere of Heaven. 
 
The more time we spend seeking out the reality of Heaven, the more clearly it will begin to appear to us. I believe that spending more time in prayer allows us to see when God is moving in response to our supplications. 
 
For me, I begin to grow more aware of the heavenly realm when I spend time alone with God in a quiet place. Marveling over the sublime beauty of His creation opens a door for my mind to begin dwelling on His magnitude. Focusing on the things He has done in my life helps me to see the things He is doing currently. 
 
“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.” - Colossians 3:1

Though we are not deserving, we have been raised with Christ. He died for our sins, but we received the reward of His sacrifice. We now have permission, and even a calling to seek the things that are above. We no longer have any place in ignoring the heavenly encounters that are happening all around us.

It takes time, though, and effort – this… adjusting. While we are calibrating to the atmosphere of Heaven, we will begin to see more of the plans the Lord has for us. Instead of running away from or debasing those callings, we can begin to embrace them. The more we learn to see God in our world and in our life, the more we will realize the things that we have been missing all along.

While we will never have anything near to the complete perspective that our omniscient Lord has, the more time we spend walking with Him, the more we will begin to pick up on His ways. As we learn His character, we begin to recognize Him in the little things.
 
This year, I have learned that the Holy Spirit is far more prevalent in my life than I ever gave Him credit for. As I began to recognize Him more, I realized the places in my past where I had been unaware of His connection, but I can now fully see His involvement. As a friend of mine likes to say, my hindsight vision is 20/20. Of course, when it comes to understanding the unimaginable workings of the tripartite God, my vision is nowhere near 20/20, but it is easier now to recognize His presence in moments when I had felt alone.

Moving forward in life, but also in my relationship with the Lord, I can now use my past to recalibrate my eyes and my heart to a right understanding of God’s character and His presence. It is a continual process, but there are always new opportunities for recognition of the heavenly in my life. Just the promise of more is enough to send me following the glimpses He has granted me with a mixture of motivation and patience. I know there are places where Heaven is encountering Earth; my eyes just can’t see them yet.

Author  |  Mackenzie Wells

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