Do you ever think about Heaven?

The other night I lay in bed thinking about heaven. When my husband Emil came to sleep a little later I was still awake so I asked him, “Do you ever think about heaven?” He answered that he had never really thought about the details. He just believes that he is going to heaven some day and he’s happy about it.

I had also thought that way until a few years ago when I developed kidney problems in South Korea, and had to have a few operations. I had always been an extremely healthy person so when I discovered a lump in my right side, my first shocked impression was that I had cancer and was going to die.

Today I am fine again. I don’t have cancer—never did. It was just a kidney complication that was soon sorted out. However, that incident certainly got my attention and since then I have seriously started to think about death. I had always thought I was prepared for death, but when I experienced my kidney problems, I was unpleasantly surprised to realize that I was actually far from ready.

I needed time to get myself and my thoughts sorted out. I began to think about the reality of my death and what it would entail for me in a practical sense. My body had to be cremated, there would be a funeral. My dear loved ones would be left behind and we would never see one another again on this earth. All this brought a great deal of sadness and anxiety into my heart as I saw all these incidents taking place in my mind’s eye.

It took me quite a long time to work through all those things, and get to the point where I think I am ready to die today if it is God’s time for me. And so, I began to think about the next step—heaven. I asked myself what it would be like going to heaven. Some of my questions were would I go alone, and when I got there would God be there to meet me? Would I recognize some of the people there or would I find myself amongst a lot of strangers?

The other night as I lay thinking about heaven I thought about God’s love. In actual fact, God IS love. I thought about the time that I was conceived and kept safe and protected in my mother’s womb. When she gave birth to me I came into this world alone, but caring hands immediately placed me into my mother’s welcoming arms. I was raised by a loving mother and father until I was old enough to take care of myself. My mother died when I was fourteen but my father was always there for me until he died a few years ago. God has unfailingly taken care of me either through my parents, husband, family members, friends, or in other wonderful ways. Why would it be different in heaven? He does not change like shifting shadows—His love endures forever.

Most people don’t speak about heaven. Its reality is considered to be a rather awkward, uncomfortable subject. Songs are sung where heaven is portrayed as perfection. An old song, Cheek to Cheek, made famous by singers like Frank Sinatra and others comes to mind. Some of the lyrics are:

Heaven… I’m in heaven,
And my heart beats so that I can hardly speak.
And I seem to find the happiness I seek,
When we’re out together dancing cheek to cheek.

Heaven… I’m in heaven,
And the cares that hung around me through the week,
Seem to vanish like a gambler’s lucky streak,
When we’re out together dancing cheek to cheek.

And so forth…

Irving Berlin, author of the lyrics, describes a moment’s happiness as heaven. He paints a loving, carefree relationship as heaven.

My husband and I love each other very much—but our love is imperfect. I love my children very much—but my love is imperfect. God is love—and His love is perfect! There is nothing here on earth that can fully describe the perfection of heaven.

There are certain scriptures in the Bible that clearly refer to heaven or the life hereafter. One of them is where Jesus said to the penitent thief on the cross next to him, “Today you will be with me in paradise.” So the journey from this world to heaven can’t be very long—or not longer than one day. Jesus also said, “In my father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go there to prepare a place for you.” Jesus is preparing places for us to live in heaven.

There is no place for Satan in heaven. Therefore there will be no sin, no evil, no sickness, no poverty, hunger or suffering, no selfish ambition or bitter envy, as all these things come from him. In heaven we will permanently be in the presence of perfect love because God is perfect. We will not be alone, lonely or fearful as perfect love drives out all fear. In His love we will be made perfect—we will know all things and so we will know everyone in heaven as we live in His perfection. There is so much more…

Heaven is a real, amazing and wonderful place. The way there is simple. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Our lives go by so quickly and death is often thought to be far in the future. However, none of us know the time of our departure from this world and we could be caught unawares. We need to be sure we are ready for the journey. The nice thing about it is that we don’t have to pack any bags. Think about it will you.


PS This article is by no means intended to be a theological exposition of life hereafter.

“Cheek to Cheek” music and words by Irving Berlin.


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© Lorna Kirstein