Looking back: an excerpt from an article I shared with Lutheran Women magazine, June/July 2007
Quite a number of people have been very encouraged after hearing my near-death-experience. The question that is most of asked of me, relates to my understanding of the life we experience hereafter.
When my heart stopped unexpectedly in the cardiac ward for over two minutes, the doctor and nurses worked quickly to ‘bring me back.’ I know that they were working on my lifeless-body, but I was already somewhere else with my soul. I had an appointment scheduled to be at heaven’s door.
How do I make sense of what I had seen and experienced? Consider a computer. Perhaps you’re sitting with your laptop reading this article. The hardware is heavy and weighs on your lap. But the digital information can be accessed, downloaded, uploaded, and has no mass to it at all. You can fill your hard drive to the max and it will not have gained a milligram of weight. So where is it? In a similar way, my body was the hardware with the software information being the sum total of my experiences, until my soul separated and I was able to link with something outside of my normal way of operating and interacting. My NDE was a soul and spirit experience, beyond my physical life.
In an instant I experienced death and what followed on. Instantly, I was gone from here and found myself interacting in the heavenly realm. If God has created us and redeemed us, then he has done so that we may experience his presence. On that Good Friday morning in 2004 I found myself in God’s presence.
Death held no fear or dread for me as a person redeemed by Christ. Through his grace I anticipated that some day I would be called into his presence (John 14:1-6; Ephesians 3:14-21). The Apostle Paul once said: ‘for me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.’ He also remarked on this fact: ‘now we see dimly, then we shall see fully as we are fully known.’ Our walk is indeed by faith, but when someone has been given a glimpse into this spiritual reality, then faith begins to have substance to it. In a way I can say, ‘I know that I know, because I know,’ for Jesus has come to give us life, ‘and life in abundance, to the full, till it overflows.’
Faith in Christ has moved further on from the foot of the cross. The cross is indeed the greatest event in history for a fallen world in need of a Saviour. From that cross Jesus proclaimed: ‘It is done!’ Now that salvation has been achieved and granted to us by grace and as a gift, we can begin to live in that reality; it’s a resurrection reality. Paul concluded his entire argument concerning this good news for with the thought that if the ‘resurrection did not take place, then we of all people would be greatly to be pitied because we would still be in our sins.’ But Jesus did rise from the dead – the victory has been won – and the prize is eternal life!
So what of that question regarding life hereafter? All I can say is ‘but wait there is more!’ If nothing else, my NDE has given me this insight. But there was so much more to my NDE than just a glimpse into heaven. Even though God is drawing us to the reality of his presence, for me, it begins now. I have come to understand that in Jesus’ prayer ‘your will be done on earth as it is in heaven’, we have the revelation of God’s plan. God is linking heaven to each one of us.
Wow, and you thought life was mundane, a drudge and boring. What do you think now?