MY VISIT TO HEAVEN
Pastor Suzanne L. Taylor
One of the greatest joys in my life is visiting Jesus in His throne room. I begin by visualizing myself walking down a long hallway. At the end of the hall is a jewel encrusted doorway, but there is no door, for nothing shall separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:38,39).
I watch myself pass through the doorway into a long, narrow room. As I begin to walk the length of the room, I notice that the room becomes a little brighter with each step. About halfway through the room, I see something in the distance. It is a dark mass without shape or form. But I know what it is, and I pray, “Please, Jesus, be on Your throne today. I really want to see You.”
Does the word “visualize” scare you? It shouldn’t. It is simply another word for day dream. Although the new age gurus would have you believe otherwise, the words, “visualize” and “day dream” can be used interchangeably. They mean just about the same thing, and neither requires any special skill or knowledge to accomplish.
Psychics who work in the occult want us to believe that visualization is done through some mystic power acquired by living many life times. According to New Agers, each of us lives at least one life time in a century. They claim that some of the lives we are given are so short, we can actually fit two or more in one century. The purpose for each life, they tell us, is to learn new things that will help us in our next life time on the cosmic agenda. Once we have lived enough life times, and have learned many lessons, we are considered wise enough to become a spirit guide to others. It then becomes our duty as “guides” to guide other searchers through the spirit world so they will not become lost in the unmapped territory.
The real truth is that, unless you want to become trapped in the occult, visualization requires no special wisdom, and needs no travel guide. Each of us has been visualizing since we were very young. As little children, we day dreamed of one day marrying Mama or Daddy. As we grew up, our day dreams included people from outside the home. Remember the day dream you had about the hunk, or hunkette, three rows down in ninth grade science class? Do you remember the day dreams you had about walking hand-in-hand, having an intelligent conversation that made you appear a genius? Can you recall how your lips actually puckered as you “saw” yourself sampling the first kiss you hoped you would soon share? All these things were accomplished through day dreaming, which is visualization.
I believe that day dreaming, or visualization, is a harmless diversion. Seeing good things for yourself and your loved ones creates a feeling of calm, and builds hope in your heart. This activity is a cost effective way to overcome stress, and some mild forms of depression in your life.
A practical function of day dreaming is problem solving. When faced with a difficult situation in my life, my mind becomes distracted, unable to concentrate. I often find my mind drifting off toward the problem in a day dream. In the non-threatening environment of a day dream, I can visualize scenarios in which to work out the problem. As I pray and ask God to show me what to do, I play with various scenes and the solution often presents itself.
Some of the problems I’ve faced have been very hard to deal with. One problem in particular was the death of my dad. He died in August of 1996, after a many year struggle with cancer. Although my dad was an alcoholic, and life at home was difficult, we had a strong bond. When I arrived at the hospital and found out I was twenty minutes too late to say “good-by”, I was crushed. I knew my life had taken a drastic turn, and that nothing would ever be the same for me.
On the way home from the hospital in our car, my husband tried to comfort me. It was no use. I was devastated. Although I was able to smile my way through his funeral, I felt disconnected. I hugged my family and friends, and was able to respond to their verbal memories of my dad with a smile or a chuckle. But I wasn’t there.
It wasn’t until several days later, when I was sitting quietly in my rocking chair, that my mind was allowed to wander. As I sat there, I closed my eyes and saw (visualized) myself going to the throne room of Jesus Christ. The sadness that was in my heart was heavy. It pulled my head down, and tears poured from my eyes. As I knelt before Jesus, I asked Him if He would permit me to sit on His lap. He reached down to help me up, and I asked Him for a hug. His gentle arms enfolded me, and His nail-pierced hands rested on my shoulder as I lay my head against His heart. It was there, in the arms of my beloved Jesus, that I finally found comfort nearly two weeks after my father’s death.
As Jesus cuddled me, I sobbed out the tears of the broken hearted. The longer I cried, the calmer I felt. Anyone observing me sitting in my rocking chair would have assumed I was napping, so calm was my exterior. But the scene inside my mind was of a tormented soul, full of despair and broken. When the tears finally stopped, peace filled my soul. I rested against Jesus for a few minutes longer, then I thanked Him for His comfort, and climbed down from His lap. The grief over the loss of my dad was still with me, but the agony was gone. I now knew I could resume my life
Another word many people fear is, “ meditation.” Occult practitioners have made so much of sitting in painful postures chanting mantras that many think they invented meditation.
“You must meditate,” they tout, “in order to bring your mind to a peaceful plain where love and harmony live together.”
Truth be known, God invented meditation. He tells us about it in His Bible. In the Psalms, there are many references to meditation. In the Book of Philippians we are admonished to, “think on the things that are true, good, honorable, and right, etc.” In short, think on the positive.
When we begin to meditate on God’s Word, we begin to focus our attention on the positive aspects of our lives, and we feel calmer, more peaceful. We become less stressed, more in control. We are more capable of making good decisions. We are nicer; more fun to be around.
To those who think visualization and meditation are sinful acts that bring people closer to the devil, I say, “Bunk!” To those who think day dreaming is a waste of time, I say, “Try it, you’ll love it.”
Christians must practice a work of faith, a labor of love, and the patience of hope. This is accomplished through daily time with our Lord.