Where IS Heaven?
© Ferna Lary Mills
I was taught from the moment I could look into my mother's eyes and pay attention that God
lives in Heaven. He loved us so much that He sent Jesus to save us so that someday we will
get to go up to Heaven and live with Him forever. What a wonderful story.

Every story and fairy tale told to young children has its basis rooted in a truth, but not
necessarily the
whole truth, and not necessarily all truth. After all, stories are for telling to small
children, so they must be colorful and exciting to hold their attention, and embellished so that
they can understand the true meaning behind them. This story is kind of like that.

Oh yes, God does love us. It is true that He loved us so much that He sent his only son, Jesus,
to save us. When Jesus was crucified on the cross and rose again, He defeated death so that
we are guaranteed to live eternally. "Life" is no longer a mere number of single-, double-, or
even triple-digit years ~ it's FOREVER. That is the real truth of this story.

It’s the "Heaven-thing" I have a problem with. Oh yes, I certainly do believe there IS a
Heaven, and I believe with all my heart that we will get to live there with our Lord for all eternity.
I know in my heart that my loved ones who have passed from this life are there now, living with
Jesus in that place where there is no more pain or sorrow, only Joy.

I also believe (based on scriptures as well as the stories I was told as a child) that Heaven is a
marvelous place beyond all description with its streets of gold and mansions and angels. I
believe it will be so unbelievably and unimaginably beautiful that upon arriving there, I will fall to
my knees completely awe-stricken! Its beauty may take my breath away for the first hundred-
thousand years I'm there! I totally believe that mere words from man's mouth can never come
close to describing the beauty and holiness of this place we call Heaven.

All of these things, I do believe. Partly, because my Mother told me so, and mostly because the
Bible tells me so. But I believe it absolutely because God tells me so. The problem I have with
Heaven, however, is not that it exists, nor that it's going to be awesome. The problem I have is
its location.

IS Heaven?

"If you're good, you can go UP to Heaven."
"When you pray, lift your eyes UP to Heaven."
"Jesus lives UP in Heaven."

These are all statements I've heard throughout my life regarding this Heaven-place. It's
somewhere UP there in the skies, maybe floating on a far-away cloud, or beyond the galaxies,
or maybe hiding behind some obscure planet somewhere.  Sorry, but that worked as a story or
a "tale" when I was a child, but I just don't buy it anymore.

Yes, the scriptures state that when Jesus "arose" from the grave, he ascended. (Another term
for UP.) I don't dispute that. But, I have a question:  If Jesus loves me so much that He wants to
be my friend and desires a personal relationship with me, why would He move a billion miles
away from me to some obscure galactic location to await for me to join Him there in Heaven?

Another question: The scriptures state that upon His return, His Second Coming, that there will
be a New Earth, and this place will become His new Kingdom. So if He's spending so much
time investing his labors in preparing a "mansion" for us in Heaven, why would He do that a
gazillion miles away only to have to move everything back HERE in the end?

Okay, so these are good eschatological questions, but what in the world does it have to do with
Grief? That's easy. Our loved ones who have passed on now reside with the Lord in this
wonderful place called Heaven. We believe that reunions are being planned even as we weep
and a time will come when God, in His perfect timing, will call us to join our loved ones in that
Heavenly home.

In-the-meantime, can knowing where Heaven IS bring us any comfort in our grief? There is very
little comfort in believing that our loved ones are now a gazillion miles away in a galactic black-
hole somewhere in the vast reaches of outer space.  But I find tremendous comfort in knowing
that they are only a breath away,
right here.

They are alive, and rejoicing in a spiritual realm of the unseen in a most holy Heavenly place
with our Lord and Savior. They are each awaiting that miraculous moment when God lifts this
very thin veil and allows us to enter and rejoice with them for the rest of all eternity! Yes, they
reside in Heaven with our Lord in a place that radiates joy and unimaginable Peace. An
awesome place. A Heavenly place. Only a breath away.

Haven't you ever felt it? That awesome presence of the Lord right after a heartfelt, soul shaking
prayer? Have you ever felt the warmth of His peace as it felt as if He were gently pulling his
arms around you? Have you ever felt that gentle breath of Heaven?

Exhale. You can't see your breath (unless it's extremely cold where you are) but you know you
just exhaled air. You can't see where that breath went, but you know it left you. Breathe on your
hands and you can feel the warmth, but you still cannot see it. But, because you can't see it
does not mean it doesn't exist. For every Christian knows that is the bottom line of Faith:
believing from the heart and not from sight.

When your grief is unbearable, close your eyes and pray. Allow Him to draw ever so close to
you so you can feel that wonderful breath of Peace. And in the stillness of that very precious
moment, remember how very much He loves you. Then, remember that He is not alone. Our
loved ones are right there with Him. May God bless you and bring you to that wonderful place
of perfect Peace.


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