April 17

APRIL 17
by Donovan Mitri
Read: 2 Corinthians 4:16 – 18
 
I know things are difficult and overwhelming now because of the pandemic. Along with the virus, I am sure many of you are dealing with other personal and serious issues regarding family, health, and finances. Due to the excessive stress and anxiety, I am going to share an experience I had last year that changed the way I look at life and I am certain this will provide much needed encouragement.
 
Last year was my senior year of high school. It was a very exciting year with many things to look forward. However, not everything in my life at the time was good. Unfortunately, my grandpa, who my family and I called Pa, was entering the final stages of his cancer battle. In March, just three months before graduation, he made the consequential decision to enter hospice care. After eleven years of battling cancer his body was finally shutting down. As you can imagine, our family was utterly devastated. Although, in the midst of this ordeal, there was one thing that brought us much needed comfort. 
 
Our Pa was ready to go to heaven. Pa’s immeasurable Christian faith and love for his family was greater and more powerful than life itself. After a life lived to the fullest with an abundance of blessings, he was ready to meet Jesus, see the glory of heaven, and be reunited with his parents and brothers.
 
Now, only a few days before Pa entered heaven, he described heaven with a very unique and meaningful term.
He said, “I want to go home.”
He called heaven “home.”
 
That single word was an epiphany for my family and I. At that moment, we began to realize more so how our lives on earth are only temporary and that heaven is our only true home. Heaven is the only place where we will feel completely fulfilled and experience pure joy.
 
Pa’s subtle, yet remarkable description of heaven has helped me develop a perspective I call, “the heavenly perspective.” This perspective reminds me to never become too consumed and upset with the challenges of life. As we are familiar with, in life there are all sorts of troubles. There are issues with family and friends, financial trouble, unhealthy relationships, divorce, death, war, and disease. Unfortunately, almost all of these problems are inevitable. This is why the heavenly perspective is beneficial for our lives. No matter the problems and dilemmas that come our way, we must remember that God has an eternal home waiting for us. In our eternal home, we will feel completely fulfilled and completely understand the ways of our God.
 
No matter what occurs in our lives, we must keep our focus on heaven, our home.
 
Church family, I hope all of you have a Pa in your life and I especially hope that you all use the “heavenly perspective” as a source of encouragement until we all arrive home.
 
* I recently found out Rev. Don Piper, author of 90 Minutes in Heaven and Heaven Is Real, uses the same term for this perspective.

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