I'm not supposed to be reading this book first. I should be reading his first book, 90 Minutes in Heaven. But I was at the library the other day, and I saw this book on the shelf of new books and I grabbed it. Heaven is Real, by Don Piper, is the follow up book to his best seller which relayed "his first hand experience of the joy of heaven" after a miraculous survival from ninety minutes of death.
I love this book, Heaven is Real. It's about "how to survive and transcend life's difficulties by seeking the assurance of God's grace" according to the summary on the inside book jacket. Surviving and transcending difficulties- it's what we're all after, to some degree.
I have loved ones in my life trying to survive some tough times. I am soberly gearing up to stay in a battle mode, to go on this journey with them. They will need friends who know that it's not a picnic right now. If anyone was to refer to the wonderful nature of life right now, they would scream. Cheerful, naive optimism would ground salt into their already open wounds. They don't need any more pain.
I also know those who are going through a beautiful time in their life, a time of fresh breezes, optimum health and financial success. That's a beautiful season to be in. But at the same time, a couple of these dear ones are beset by a killer naivete that they are in control, choosing well, and reaping well because of their skill and their intelligence. Some of these people are not choosing well. They just have not yet seen that their choices may become their undoing. They have not yet realized that they turned a corner, even if just in their spirit, and they walked out of mercy and into pride and self assurance. The heart may defiantly turn away, in a moment, affecting a life time. (Deut 30:11-20).
"Decisions. Decisions. At the time we make them, most seem innocuous, incidental, or minor. And most of them are. But you never know when you're going to make a decision that will change your life completely," Don Piper writes.
It's altogether possible that today you will make a decision that could profoundly impact your life. One open door in your heart, to God, takes you in one direction. Slam the door, turn your face from Him and from what you know He would ask of you, and you go in another direction. Just because you are confidently walking on a certain road, doesn't mean you know the ultimate end of it.
Yesterday, I was faced with only a small, little decision. I stood at the intersection of me knowing how I should live, and me knowing only that God knows all things.
I turned towards the road where God knows all, where He will sort it out for me, step by step. And I walked away from the road where I would have to handle it all, direct everything from a supposed vantage point of gathered information, researching, and cajoling family members to do their best. I don't want to go down that road of me in control. In other words, I let go and let God. Again.
Not a big deal. Especially compared to the big decisions so many are facing. But in my spirit, I may have just decided to walk on with God in such a way that when the big, desperate decisions come, I am ready to choose His way again, choose wisely...only because I know that He has to help me do so.
May I always remember that.