Beliefnet
You Can Sit With Us

Who defines who you really are? This is such a critical question but one so few of us have really stopped to dissect. When we base our worth or identity on what we do or what has been done to us, we struggle with fear of failure, feel the need to prove ourselves, or manipulate others who get in our way. Self-consumed

God never created us to get our identity from what we do or what others did to us, but from God Himself.

Researchers note that many NDE survivors ( who were interviewed) talk of attaching greater value and meaning to life and less importance to material things such as an expensive car, a big house, and a job with status and power. Many people try to perform, accomplish, or gain notoriety to make a name for themselves.

What we will see in Heaven is that life is not about that at all.

The question many NDE’s say will be asked is What did you do with your life? God made every one of His children to have a divine purpose, which only they can accomplish in the earth. Knowing how God sees you sets you free to accomplish things God created you to accomplish. It sets you free to use your unique gifts, time, and resources to make an impact that lasts for eternity- not to prove your worth something, but because your’e worth everything to God. Love is central to our purpose. God gives us each other to learn how to love ( what God defines as love). Love God and love those who God puts into your life. You do not need to worry about fulfilling your purpose; if you seek God and His will. He will help you live it out.

Let’s take a look at another NDE’s account….

“There were strong cross winds that day and a small red pickup truck driving erratically through that stretch of freeway. I may have dozed off at the wheel and swerved off the road, but for whatever reason, our vehicle, traveling at 75 miles per hour, abruptly went off the shoulder of the road.”

Time slowed as Jeff woke up to a father’s worst nightmare. 4 year old spencer and 14 month old Griffin, asleep in the back, startled as his wife Tamara screamed and reached for the steering wheel. Jeff overcorrected and their SUV rolled 7 or 8 times down the asphalt. Jeff slipped out of his body….

“I was encircled with light, a bright- white light that seemed to be energized with pure, unconditional love. I was calm. Peace infused this almost tangible light. I realized all the pain was gone. I was fine. Then I felt a familiar touch. I opened my eyes. Tamara was right next to me. She was real too. I could feel her. She was alive …. I looked at her. I could feel everything. She was crying and upset. Why though? Where were we? Was the crash a bad dream? Or had I died? Had we both died? And where were our boys? I had read about many people passing through a tunnel but that was not my experience. I was in some sort of protective bubble. I felt alive, not dead. 

You can’t stay her, Tamara said. “You have to go back. You can’t be here.” “Why was she crying? What did she mean I can’t stay here?” “I belonged there.”

I knew she was right, I was not meant to stay. I felt I had a choice but something deep within me knew I had to get back to Spencer. I looked into Tamara’s crystal blue eyes as everything in the universe was calling me back to Spencer. I wanted to stay with her. I looked at her one more time, the love of my life, and the wife of my dreams. “I love you.” ” I Know.” 

The next thing Jeff heard was the haunting reality of Spencer crying in the backseat of the crashed SUV. Tamara and Griffin were dead. As he came back, Jeff heard a question, it echoed into every cell of his being. The question was simply, “To what degree have you learned to love?”

 

Howard Storm, a professor of art of Northern Kentucky University, was taking students on a tour of Paris’s museums when a stomach ulcer perforated his duodenum. Little did he know from the time of perforation, life expectancy typically lasted 5 hours. The hospital had only one surgeon on duty that weekend, so he and his wife, Beverly had to wait. Ten hours later, a nurse informed them the doctor had gone home, and they would have to wait until morning. “I knew I was dying and I told Beverly I loved her very much as we said our goodbyes.” “I knew for certain that there was no such thing as life after death.” “Only simpleminded people believed in that sort of thing.” “I didn’t believe in God let along Heaven or Hell.” “Those were just fairy tales.” As Howard closed his eyes, he found himself standing up beside the bed. “I thought it was a dream but I felt more alert and alive than I ever had.” “All my senses were extremely vivid.” “As I bent over to look at the face of the body in the bed, I was horrified that it was me.” “Again, I had never felt more alert and conscious.” “I wanted to get through to Beverly so I screamed and raged at her but nothing, she remained frozen in the chair next to my bed.”

I could hear voices, outside the hall calling me. “Howard, Howard.” They were pleasant voices, male and female, young and old, calling me in English. None of the hospital staff spoke English so clearly. “Come out here, they said.” We’ve been waiting for you for a long time.” “We can get you fixed up if you hurry, don’t you want to get better?”  I was now afraid of those people calling me. I was in a foreign country and they were becoming irritated with my questions to find out who they were…”We can’t help you if you don’t come out here.”

I stepped out into the hallway full of anxiety. The area was light but very hazy. The people were all different ages, male and female. As I tried to get closer, they withdrew deeper into the haze. I could not get closer than 10 feet from them but they kept beckoning me to follow so my troubles would end. We had been walking for a while but everything was timeless. I kept asking when we would arrive and that I was sick. They began mocking me as they became increasingly angry and sarcastic. The more I questioned, the more antagonistic and authoritarian they became. They were talking poorly about me to each other. They were whispering about my bare rear end, which wasn’t covered from the hospital gown and about how pathetic I was. Soon, they began shouting and hurling insults at me, demanding that I hurry along. The more upset I became, the more they seemed to enjoy my distress.

This experience was too real, more than anything I had experienced. All of a sudden we were in complete darkness. They began to push and shove me. I began to fight back but a wild frenzy of taunting, screaming and hitting ensued. I fought like a wild man. They bit and tore back at me all the while it looked as though they enjoyed seeing me tortured. Even though it was dark, I was aware there were dozens or hundreds of them all around me. They began to tear off pieces of my flesh. To my horror I was being taken apart and eaten alive to their entertainment.

These creatures were once human beings. “The best way I can describe them is to think of the worst imaginable person stripped of every impulse of empathy and compassion.” “They were driven by cruelty.” “Some of what I experienced was simply to gruesome and disturbing to recall.” “I spent years trying to suppress a lot of it and when I did remember, I was traumatized.”

As I lay on the ground so badly torn up with my tormentors swarming me, a voice emerged from my chest. ‘Pray to God” “I didn’t believe in God and thought that’s not going to help.” “This is utterly hopeless and I don’t pray”  The voice said it again, “Pray to God!”

Howard remembered a prayer from childhood and pieced it together best he could. “Yea, though I walk through the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me.”

Then One Nation under God came next. Then God Bless America, came next. “As those words flooded through my mouth, my tormentors screamed as if I was pouring boiling oil on them.” “There is no God!” “No one can hear you.” “The were even more angry and spoke in the most obscene language, worse than anything said on earth.”  “But at the same time they were backing away.” “I realized saying things about God was actually driving them away.”

“I was alone in the darkness for a time without measure.” “I thought about my life and what I had done.” “All my life I thought that hard work was what counted.” “My life was devoted to building a monument to my ego…. Material possessions, illusions of power, money, my little fame.” “All my life, I’d fought a constant undertone of anxiety and fear.”

“How ironic to end up in the sewer of the universe with people who fed off the pain of others.” “I had little compassion for the hardships of others.” “What was mine was mine.” “It dawned on me that I was not unlike these miserable creatures who were torturing me. ”

“As I lay alone in the dark, I heard a song I had not heard since childhood, Jesus loves me.” ” I wanted it to be true.” “I called out, Jesus save me.”

Far off in the distance, I saw a pinpoint of light like the faintest star in the sky. It was rapidly getting brighter and brighter. The light was intense and beautiful, brighter than the sun. Ecstasy swept away the agony. Tangible hands and arms embraced me and lifted me up. I slowly rose up and the torn pieces of my body miraculously healed before my eyes… This loving luminous being knew me better than myself and I was unconditionally loved and accepted. He was Jesus Christ, the Savior. I called out to Jesus and He came to rescue me. The tears would not stop flowing from the love I felt. He held me and we rose up like a rocket out of that detestable hell. We traversed an enormous distance, light years, although very little time elapsed. I simply knew that God loved me and God is love.

Howard said as he looked across the great city of lights, he had a life review in the presence of Jesus and several angels. Howard was then revived miraculously, and several years later left his career as a university professor and chairman of the art department to become a pastor.

What’s the end goal for you?

Have you thought about your limited time here?

Who decided who you are?

 

 

 

Storm, My Descent into Death

Burke, Excerpts from Imagine Heaven

 

 

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