Do you know that feeling when you’re almost overwhelmed by how much you love someone or something? When you feel so incredibly lucky – blessed – that you feel like your heart could burst? I call those moments a glimpse of heaven.
It’s often brought on by a person. But it can even happen when you’re looking out at an incredibly gorgeous sunset over the ocean. Or when you’re hiking up in the mountains and it’s so beautiful and magical that you’re pretty sure any minute you might meet up with one of Tolkien’s elves from Middle Earth.
I get that feeling even more often now that I have grand kids. I know I loved my own kids a lot when they were little (and I still love them now!) but there’s just something about grand kids. When I see them or hold them or even just see a picture of them on Facebook I honestly feel like my heart could burst!
I think when you’re a parent you’re responsible for so many things related to your kids – well, everything actually – so there are a lot of other feelings mixed in with that incredible love. But when you’re a grand parent you just get to love on ’em.
A while ago I was talking to a friend about this feeling. We agreed that the thing that will be the hardest to lose when we die is that connection – that overwhelming love – that we have with our families. That bond that is unique and separates our family from all the rest of the world in our hearts & minds.
I’ve thought about this a lot since that conversation. I believe there is a whole new life after this one for those who know God. I believe that heaven is real. And I believe that whatever comes next after this life will be even more wonderful than the greatest things we can imagine or feel in this present world.
But the Bible also makes it pretty clear that we won’t have marriages and families in heaven in the same way that we do here and now. It will be different. And in our limited brains, it’s hard to imagine how that could possibly be “better” than what we have here. Heaven is supposed to be better, right?
The only way I can reconcile that is to believe that this incredible overwhelming love that we feel now for our spouses and kids and grandkids is just a glimpse of what we will have in heaven. And somehow, when we get there, we will feel that same love and connection with everyone, not just our families. I know, I know… that seems hard to believe. But if heaven is going to be better than here, then it must be true.
But in the meantime, while we are still walking through this world and waiting for whatever is up ahead after this life, cherish the time you have with your family. Make them a priority. Don’t waste time on issues and things that don’t really matter. Let this glimpse of heaven that God has given you fill your soul with His love. And then let that love spill out onto the world around you.
by Bernice Gudgel