For many of us experiencing pain brings fear. What’s wrong with my body? Will my pain get worse?
Some time ago a friend of mine was having intermittent chest pains. The doctor said his heart was fine and the pain was from stress gripping his chest. I told him that he was caught in a vicious cycle: anxiety was causing heart pain which in turn was triggering his fear of death.
His mortality was up in his face because he was battling cancer. He was afraid to die in the prime of his life and leave behind a family that needed him. We had many tearful talks. He cried, “I want to see my daughter graduate from college and to walk her down the aisle at her wedding. I want to see my grandchildren grow up. I don’t want my wife to be alone.”
The Heavens Touch the Earth
We also talked about heaven. He was a Christ-follower and knew that he’d go to heaven when he died, but heaven had always seemed a far off and a way later. It seemed so separate from his life today — till he meditated on Colossians 3:1-3:
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
He realized that his real life was not his physical life, but his spiritual life. By setting aside living on his own terms he was “raised with Christ” and the life of his soul was “now hidden with Christ in God.” He could take hold of the hand of Christ and step into the heavenly realms of the Kingdom of God right now.
A Heavenly Breath Prayer
To be raised with Christ isn’t only a theological idea it’s also about how we live today. To help my friend submit to the rule of Christ and experience the reality that he was actually raised with Christ I taught him a two-part Breath Prayer inspired by Colossians 3:1. “My life is in Christ… I will not fear.”
Let’s try it together:
- As you breathe in pray, “My life is in Christ…”
- As you breathe out pray, “I will not fear.”
It helps to repeat this Breath Prayer from the Bible a number of times, breathing and praying slowly and deeply. You’re using your body to engage your mind and heart with Christ. What peace this brings!
Appreciating the life of Christ… Releasing fear.
Trusting the rule of Christ… Renouncing self-rule.
“Breathing in” the heavens… “Breathing out” anxiety.
Our Bible Study on “The Kingdom of the Heavens is Open to You Now” will help you not only get into heaven when you die but also get heaven into you before you die!