Some of my earthly treasures are stored on the countryside of Kansas City, Missouri; both parents, one of three siblings and her family.  Time for a visit.  I had a good strategy in mind as I booked my flights; first flight out, last flight out. That being the case, take off happened around 6:45 am.  As is usual in San Diego, the month of May brings what is locally known as “May Gray”.  That means, if you live at sea level or anywhere around the coast, you’re bound to be met with an overcast sky through most of the month.  If it’s really persistent, it will move in to June and the only thing that changes is the name; “June Gloom”.  Clearly that was the case this particular morning.  I gazed out the gate window and the hills of my town were covered with a thick blanket of clouds.  My boarding pass afforded me early seating and I chose window just in front of the wing.  In no time the pilot had us on the runway and we were off.  I actually love to fly and my favorite part is takeoff.  Something to be said about the ascent.  Something powerful about intention.  I kept my eyes wide open for I knew that just on the other side of that big, blanket of “May Gray” was the vast expanse of the heavenlies.  Indeed, that was the case and just like that, endless, blue skies and a brilliant sun.  Perspectives. They’re different at every level.

Our first stop after landing and lunch was the hospital.  There on the 2nd floor, in ICU laid my very critically ill brother-in love.  My sister stood to greet me and we held each other for a little longer than we normally do.  It was interesting to me that an entire conversation was taking place between the two of us and not one word was spoken.  I knew her heart.  Broken, weary, tired of the details and yet amidst it all a firm resolve to be strong and live out her faith.  She believed and rested in that.  No better way to express this than by the words of our dear Dr. J. Sidlow Baxter, “We cannot foresee what darksome vales or verdant plains or surprise vistas the unfolding months may unveil. Yet if we are truly Christ’s, we are not in total obscurity. Up from the unknown, misty morrow, certain grand securities stand out in advance view.”  My sister was living in heavenlies, holding on to those “grand securities” and experiencing the “advance view”.

We made several visits to that same room during my week stay, and each time I would pass other rooms with people laying in beds and plugged in to beeping machines.  Sometimes loved ones would be draped around the beds, or maybe no one was there at all and I wondered, did they know that there was a vast expanse of the heavenlies just above the cloud cover?  Did they know divine promises, spiritual possibilities and Christian privileges?  Did they know hope?  Did they know Christ Jesus and His Word?

Today in my reflections of a trip now in history, as I sit and stare out over our balcony with a view of “May Gray”, I recall with a keen sense of mind those crucial moments of ascent.  Those moments of awakenings in ones’ heart when defeat becomes victory and truth trumps fear.  God’s Word hidden in ones’ heart resurfaces and it is time for takeoff.  “So take a new grip with your tired hands, stand firm on your shaky legs, and mark out a straight, smooth path for your feet so that those who follow you, though weak and lame, will not fall and hurt themselves, but become strong.”  Hebrews 12:12-13  Oh, my Friend…. here comes ascent!

“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”  Colossians 3:1-2  Oh, my Friend…. here comes intention!

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:4-7   Oh, my Friend…here comes the heavenlies!

Regardless of our situations and circumstances in life which can change without a moment’s notice, just know that God has provided a grand vista.  The question will always be for you and me, “What’s your perspective?”  Are you under the cloud cover or living in the heavenlies?