Jacob woke up from his sleep. He said, “God is in this place—truly. And I didn’t even know it!” He was terrified. He whispered in awe, “Incredible. Wonderful. Holy. This is God’s House. This is the Gate of Heaven.” Genesis 28:16-17 (The Message)
As you all may recall from some of my past devotions, I have seen Heaven. Don’t worry, there’s no need to make a movie about me seeing Heaven, but I have seen it nearly every year for the past 34 years. It’s nestled in a quaint little area called Mountain Rest, South Carolina. As you drive up Highway 28, you look out to your right to see the vast valley covered in trees which are bright green during the summer months or colored with auburn and golden yellow leaves during the fall. My parents have been taking us up there for as long as I can remember. I recall spending every July 4th up there until I went into middle school. Now, I don’t get there as often as I would like, in fact it’s been a whole year since I’ve been there, but just sitting here typing this devotion, I can picture it all and His peace comes over me.
One can sit on the screened in back porch and take in the breeze, the cool rain, and the sounds of nature all around us. Listen, you can hear the rain hitting the tin roof – ahhh – that to me is Heaven. Fresh pancakes await you when you wake up in the morning – mmm – definitely Heaven. Then there’s the lake, just before the sun comes over the mountain with fog rolling across – definitely Heaven.
Of course I know that Heaven will be much more wonderful than Mountain Rest, South Carolina, but for me right now, that is my piece of Heaven. Just like Jacob, I feel that God is truly in this place. I feel His presence all around me, especially since the outside world offers very little distractions up there. It’s me, God, and obviously a lot of His critters up there. For me it is incredible, wonderful, holy, it is God’s house. Where is your piece of Heaven? Where do you experience His Presence the most? I encourage you this week to take time and go there, either mentally or physically. But take time and meet God face to face, relax and renew in His loving presence.
God of Heaven, draw us closer to You. Draw us closer to Your peace, healing, rest, and renewal. Help us to leave the cares and concerns of this world behind us and know that truly You are here with us. We love you. Amen.