- Religion and Philosophy
Ruth's Near Death Experince
Standing Before God......
My beloved Auntie lost her mom at the age of 90. I will be referring to this woman as Ruth since she was not part of my immediate family although I'd met her and been around her on a few occasions during my childhood. We share the same inheritance spiritually however, so in that sense, we are family.
Back in 2004, Ruth's loved ones - my Auntie Dotty, her other daughter Shirley and her grandson Todd to name a few thought she was going home to meet her Maker. She'd been hospitalized, the result of a severe heart attack and the doctors had alerted the family she didn't have much time. Ruth was in a comatose state. Amazingly, she came out of it and soon after shared with her family how she'd been in the presence of God.
Ruth described heavens beauty, stating it is beyond what we can imagine. She most notably found herself surprised by the variety and color of the flowers, stating we here on earth have never seen anything like them. She saw her husband, her mother and her sister but didn't speak with them. Ruth described them as appearing neither old or young physically, but somewhere in between. She said she didn't see God with her physical eyes but knew she was in His presence. God told her the Bible is His breath, which I found very exciting. Most believers understand Scripture is inspired by God.. the NIV specifically says, "All Scripture is God breathed.... useful for teaching, correcting, rebuking and training in righteousness so that the man (person, emphasis mine) of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16 -17.
I've always felt being in the Word, or the Bible (knowing Jesus also is the Word...see the gospel of John, Chapter 1) is the same as being in His very presence. Such an awesome place to be.
Ruth also said being before God was extremely unpleasant at one point since He brought up and questioned her regarding every unconfessed sin she ever committed. As we are told in Romans 14:12, "So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God."
In line with what the Bible says in the preceding versus, Romans 14:10-11 also says;
"You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God's judgement seat. It is written: " 'As surely as I live; says the Lord, 'every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.' "
As a result of this experience, Ruth became mindful of how important it is to show kindness to others. I think all people have the tendency to judge, perhaps even looking down on others as a result of experiences and or opinion. This can in turn shape our attitudes and actions (or lack thereof). Going back to Ruth, she recalled not treating her mother very kindly and shared this with her daughters and they expressed surprise. They couldn't recall a time when their mom treated their grandmother unkindly. Ironically, my Auntie Dotty felt convicted, expressing how she didn't treat her mom (Ruth) very well. Ruth even expressed she thought Dotty treated her quite well, seeing her as a wonderful daughter. Yet my Auntie Dotty proceeded to remind her mom of several occurrences where she showed defiance, disobedience, disrespect. With those 3 D's, could kindness coexist? She asked her mother for forgiveness.
My Auntie Dotty shared with me how she believes God worked in and through her mom in such a way, when she came out of the coma and shared all this, they found liberation from what may have been a pattern for generations. I know she regularly expresses her heart of gratitude to God for His mercy, forgiveness and grace.
Certainly, many understand it isn't necessary to experience a near death experience in the physical in order to experience the presence of God. If we are humble and seek God and we ask Him to reveal to us what sinful attitudes and actions we need to be free of, He will be faithful to show us. Once we know what they are, may we not hide in shame; it's impossible to hide from God anyway...even when we attempt to flee to, or bury things in the depths, He is there. My hope is all will experience the freedom God offers, which includes deliverance and healing, leaving the past behind, abiding in Him and living the abundant promised.
Interestingly, science tells us for every action there is a reaction. True also when it comes to our words, deeds and attitudes. Our society today is really geared toward emphasizing SELF...self promotion, self gratification, there's even a magazine titled "SELF." Being focused on 'self' typically leads to idolatry and pride and doesn't make room for God to bring about gentle transformation, leading to increased inner beauty. Let us not buy into the lie, rather being mindful our choices affect more than just ourselves. May we refuse to use words, form attitudes, or engage in activities which are wicked and destructive. Rather, may we embrace and reflect Love and Kindness. It's possible when we are centered in Him.