We recently dipped our toes in a subject so deep it might make the brain hurt if we wade in too far: Is Heaven really up? Pondering directions can prove confusing enough, but using the word “dimensions” causes our minds to reminisce of sci-fi thrillers and “Beam me up, Scotty!” Surely dimensions can’t have anything to do with talk of Heaven, right?
Yet, for me, sifting through biblical evidence that Heaven is not only up but all around, in a dimension beyond our perception, is a game changer.
For most of my Christian life, I’ve heard discussion and even sang songs about Heaven being over yonder, in the sweet by and by. Coincidentally, this caused me to view Heaven as too far away, isolated, therefore irrelevant to my daily life. I could not reconcile this with the fact that pastors and Sunday school teachers regularly told me Jesus is near and would never leave me. If Jesus is in this far away Heaven, seated at the right hand of the Father (Ephesians 1:20), how could He be near at the same time?
But, if God’s dwelling place is in another dimension that exists right alongside this one, then Jesus isn’t light years away. He is much closer than we think.
As far as Heaven is concerned, it is not a matter of distance; it is a matter of revelation. As we see with Stephen in Acts 7, with Jesus in the four Gospels, and with Jacob in the Old Testament, God can choose to reveal just how near Heaven is anytime He wants. What He did for those men, He can do for anyone.
In August of 2018, my grandmother, one of the strongest Christian women I’ve ever known, passed away. My sister and I were with her. It appeared that she was suffering from a major heart attack, but she refused to allow us to call 911. Instead, she looked at me and asked me to pray for the Lord to come get her. She had to ask me twice before I reluctantly obeyed, tearfully asking Almighty God to either heal her or come get her as she had asked.
Just as I whispered “Amen,” she looked up, her eyes wide with wonder. Then, within a matter of seconds, she closed her eyes, and she was gone. I didn’t see Heaven that day, but according to the look on her face, she did. God granted her the awareness to see where she was going, and she couldn’t wait another minute.
D.L. Moody said, “We talk about Heaven being so far away. It is within speaking distance to those who belong there.”
Setting our affections on things above, as Paul tells us to do in Colossians 3:2, doesn’t seem so unproductive when we grasp that Heaven is near to us at all times. Apparently for some, it is indeed just a word away.