Mike Novotny - Are My Loved Ones Watching Over Me From Heaven?
Who's ready for a tough question? I hope you are because someone posed a really tough question to me the other day. They said, "Do our loved ones in heaven watch over us?" and "Are guardian angels real"? Now, I've had to learn by experience and I still forget this all the time, that when a person asks a question there's an issue behind the question. And so when someone asks me, "Is my loved one watching me from heaven"?
I have to pause and think about what prompts someone to wonder about that. And I think the answer is honest and sincere grief. If you've lost someone that you've loved and you're convinced that they are with God in heaven, which is joyful, glorious news, you still miss them. Right? Maybe you loved those conversations with your grandma or with your dad and you love the fact that they're celebrating and they're not in pain anymore but you miss them so much. If you've lost a child, or especially a spouse and you just miss them being at the dinner table, lying in bed next to you. The promise of eternal life in Jesus is great and you're not denying that, but there is a sincere ache in the human heart that we grieve and we want some connection.
We believe there was a connection in the past and we're gonna be with them when we die in heaven. But right now we want a present tense connection with those people and I wonder if that's what prompts this question. Are my loved ones looking down on me? My father-in-law passed away a couple of years ago and when I was just a little kid my baby brother died at six weeks as well so are Jimmy and Wayne looking down on my life? I think the most comforting, loving answer and the one that's most biblical is "No". It's very tempting to want that, but then I think about my life and I think about what I want for my father-in-law and my baby brother.
I'm not sure about your life, but my life is complicated. It's good, it's bad, there are days that I'm proud of and other days that I'm embarrassed by. There's days when I smile and days when I cry. There's things I celebrate. There's days when my heart is broken. Would I want heaven to be years and years and years of that? No. No, I want the people that I love to escape from this world and all of the heart breaking things that we see with our eyes and hear with our ears. I want my baby brother to be looking 24/7 into the face of God himself. That's what gives me the most comfort. And so I'm tempted to say, "Oh, they're watching over us. They're peaking down at us today". That sounds nice and fluffy but it's actually not. I want heaven to be heaven.
Remember in Revelation, chapter 7 and I think in Revelation 21 it describes this experience with God that there's no hurt, there's no mourning, there's no crying or there's no pain. I think that only exists when people are separated from the brokenness of this world. So, to this tough question, "Do our loved ones watch over us in heaven"? No, they're enjoying heaven. And I know that's hard, but God's gonna get you through the grief and the pain and he's gonna reunite you so you don't have to look back at this broken world but with them, you can look into the face of God. Secondly, are guardian angels real? Um, my answer is yes.
In Hebrews, chapter one, the Bible says, "Man, I wish I could tell you how all that works". Like, what exactly angels do and how they serve us. I don't really know. I can't wait to get to heaven and be surprised by all the ways that angels blessed us. But I do believe this scripture that God sends his angels to minister and serve those who will inherit salvation, those who trust in Jesus. Do they keep us safe? Uh, maybe. Do they redirect us from temptation when we pray, lead us not into temptation? Maybe. I don't know that, but I do know this. They are there, they're guarding us, they're helping us and they're doing the will of God. So, let's take our life day by day with the presence of God, the help of his angels until that final day when we see Jesus and the people that we love face to face.