Psa. 23:4 ¶ Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
Have you thought about the day of your death recently. Jonathan Edwards said that we need to think of that day everyday of our lives. Why? You ask. Thinking about dying and what comes next tends to have a great and dramatic effect on the way we live our lives right here right now. Of course for the Christian, that leads us to thinking about heaven. Heaven will be better than you think. The Father, the fountain of all life, will be there. Jesus, His only begotten Son, will be there ruling with His Father. The Holy Spirit will be there; He will be the atmosphere we breathe, the life that we live, and the veritable ocean of God’s love that shall swallow us. I guess the thing that keeps us from reflecting more often on heaven is that shadow of death that we have to pass through. Here is how Spurgeon sees it.
“The dying saint is not in a flurry, he does not run as though he were alarmed, nor stand still as though he would go no further, he is not confounded nor ashamed, and therefore keeps to his old pace. Observe that it is not walking in the valley, but through the valley. We go through the dark tunnel of death and emerge into the light of immortality. We do not die, we do but sleep to wake in glory. Death is not the house but the porch, not the goal but the passage to it. The dying article is called a valley. The storm breaks on the mountain, but the valley is the place of quietude, and thus full often the last days of the Christian are the most peaceful of his whole career; the mountain is bleak and bare, but the valley is rich with golden sheaves, and many a saint has reaped more joy and knowledge when he came to die than he ever knew while he lived.”
We are all headed for that valley one day, our approach to the valley is determined by our vision that lies beyond it. Heaven is real and nearer than you think. We live one breath, one heartbeat from our eternity. This life matters, it will determine what the next one is like.