In the past there have been several other claims of those passing & going into the light, too many claims – making me skeptical of any truth to them. I wanted to be sure I guarded my heart from false teachings. Therefore, I was not sure I wanted to read this book, published in 2004. But several people suggested that I read it, and I’m so glad I did!
This book does not just focus on Piper’s experience in heaven! It is thoroughly his journey of recovery from his auto accident, while growing closer to God!
I love his dedication, opening, to the book:
To prayer warriors…
You prayed; I’m here!
Throughout writing, he’s very descriptive of each step, pulling you in. I didn’t want to put the book down. So much was reiterated throughout the book:
- Overall the theme of this book –> PRAYER IS POWERFUL!
- God’s timing is very different from ours. “Time has no meaning.”
- The worship being so peaceful, yet many different songs are being sung at the same time! Piper shares how he can still experience this joyful worship here on earth.
- Sharing our journey, is not about ourself, it’s to reach others for Christ.
Jay B. Perkins, a retired minister, visited Don Piper while he was in the hospital. I’m sure you’ll understand that he had become depressed during this experience of excruciating pain & recovery; wanting so much to be alone, to just return to heaven. But Jay opened Don’s eyes by one simple statement:
You really need to get your act together. You’re just not doing a very good job. … these people care about you so much, and you just can’t imagine how deeply they love you. … you’re not treating them right. They can’t heal you. If they could heal you, they would do it. If they could change places with you many of them would. If you asked them to do anything – anything – they would do it without hesitating. But you won’t let them do anything for you. You’ve spent the better part of your life … caring for others… let them do the same for you.
Jay’s words changed Don’s attitude. Don still fights with allowing others to help, but at least the door is now ajar instead of locked shut.
Sometimes when he is low or physically down, he brushes people off or asserts that he doesn’t need anything. Yet when he does allow others to exercise their gifts and help, it makes such a difference.
- Learning from above too – God uses many people to reach us through difficult experiences. (And good experiences too!)
- Simple words can amaze you, giving new understanding from the root, origin, meaning!
As (Don’s) horribly mangled body mended, he needed spiritual mending as well. He began to think of it this way: The Greek word for “spirit” in pneuma. The word can also mean “wind” or “breath.” That Greek word is the root for what we call pneumonia. Just as it was necessary to re-inflate his lungs to overcome pneumonia, he needed the breath of God to help him overcome the depression of his spirit.
Think through this… Him sharing this has opened and changed my thinking!
- How different songs or words can mean something new to us in different seasons of life!
Eva had brought one of the cassette tapes of popular Christian songs originally recorded during the 1960s and ’70s. For the longest time Don didn’t want to listen, but tired of watching reruns on TV he requested help from a nurse to set the first cassette to play!
The first song had been recorded by the Imperials, and it was called “Praise the Lord.” The lyrics suggest that when we’re up against a struggle and we think we can’t go on, we need to praise God. … There was a phrase in the next verse about the chains that seem to bind us falling away when we turn ourselves over to praise. The whole song centered on praising God in spite of our circumstances.
The instant the Imperials sang the second chorus about the chains, Don looked down at his chains – pounds of stainless steel incasing his arm and let. Even though he’d sung this song several times previously, now they became a message from God – a direct hit from on high! He started singing along! …
No sooner had that song ended than David Meece sang, “We Are the Reason.” His words reminded that we are the reason Jesus Christ wept, suffered, and died on the cross. Meece sang about how he finally found that the real purpose in living was giving every part of his life to Christ. …
… Calmness swept over him, and he lay relaxed and very much at peace. That’s when he realized another miracle had taken place: His depression had lifted. Vanished.
God can work miracles in all of lives… for me He’s continued to work through my depression with the help of surrounding me people that won’t let me return to the pit, and medication to help me desire more from life! God is wonderful!
- Again, the understanding of we’re not here for self, it’s not about us, we need to open up & share our journey’s with others. Otherwise we’re being selfish with the joy/grace God supplies.
- Learning to accept a “new normal.”
- We need to share, bringing comfort to others in their pain of the same you’ve experienced, and/or loss of a loved one.
This book has given me a new way to look at things! I wanted to share these particular words above from Don as a reminder for myself… to help overcome my own depression. I pray too… this review will help others!
I could go on & on with other parts, but then I’d probably be giving away his entire experience, his book. Read the book – I hope I’ve inticed you enough to do so as its helped me deeply!