Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Heavenward Perspective

I confess that there have been times in my life when I've gone days, weeks, and even months without thinking about Heaven. In the past, Heaven came to the forefront of my mind when someone was battling a terminal illness or when Easter was approaching.

But this year has been different. Heaven has constantly been on my mind.

It started a few months ago with hearing Hillsong's "You Hold Me Now." After that, I listened to Matt Carter's sermons on Heaven. He mentioned that his wife had made a playlist on her ipod of songs about Heaven, and that got me on the lookout for more songs focusing on Heaven. Then, I attended a presentation on "Israel in the Crosshairs," and Jesus's return seemed even more imminent. And this past Saturday, I had the opportunity to hear Hillsong live.

I've never experienced anything like that night. From the diverse crowd filled with every nationality imaginable to the unabashed worship with hands raised, I sensed that I was getting a glimpse of Heaven.

As I've continued to count my own One Thousand Gifts, I'm seeing more and more glimpses of Heaven here on earth - gifts that He has put in my path to enjoy here until I get to enjoy the gift of eternal life with Him.

#339 - Being up in time to see beginning of a sunrise

#340 - Feeling of freshly shaved legs (after a long time of not shaving)

. . .

#343 - Sister's prayer for my healing

#344 - Respite from sinus headache

. . .

#346 - Robin eggs and Cadbury Mini Eggs

. . .

#365 - Psalm 91:12's picture of angels lifting us up in their hands

As Lent begins tomorrow, I anticipate that this year my perspective will be a bit different in light of this gift counting. I will continue to focus on the amazing gift that Jesus gave by taking away my sins by dying on the cross, but I also hope to see more and more of the gifts that come from having eyes opened to see the gifts that come daily, not just once a year.


Margie said...

Oh, goodness, Alyssa, this is rich. I, too, have been thinking of heaven, how we all crave perfection here but that it's impossible, impossible to have. But we will have it there. It's been hard to teach this to the girls who know no real sadness, yet.

Wow - you heard Hillsong. I would love to talk to you more about this. Their songs always put my focus on God and eternity. Am so enjoying your continued references to One Thousand Gifts and lists of gratitude it has inspired.

Jenni Weatherbee said...

have you read "heaven" by randy alcorn? i highly recommend it. my whole perspective of heaven changed w/ that book!

Momma Bean said...

I agree that listing out my own One Thousand Gifts offers a different perspective on the everyday moments.

Krista Sanders said...

Would love to have coffee over this!! Share some songs? I appreciate you!