Up Up and Farther Still
by Joyce Simoneaux
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“Up, Up, and Farther Still”
On June 1, 2004, I went to pick out a card for my friend. The hurt in her voice as we talked on the phone this morning moved me to compassion for this steadfast woman of God. I selected a card to send her beautiful wishes for all her dreams to be fulfilled.
As I was leaving the store, God began to show me a vision of her. It was so beautiful that I knew I had to hurry home to write it down. “Wait, Lord,” I whispered in my mind, “Just a little bit longer; don’t let me forget.”
As I prepared to commit to words this awesome vision, God said simply, “This is for Analee.”
As my spirit whispered to God, “Father, move heaven and earth for my friend. She loves You, and she has been faithful.” He showed me a most beautiful portrait of Analee.
The Father’s hand gracefully extended from heaven, down to earth, on a beautiful starlit night – straight to Analee. He cupped His hand and gently lifted her up. As His hand slowly ascended back up into the heavens, Analee sat gracefully upon the palm of God’s hand, dressed in a stunning white dress, with shimmering dark hair, and ruby red lips, her legs dangling over the side of God’s hand with her bare feet crossed at the ankles. Her hair was blowing wispily in the gentle, evening breeze.
She braced herself with her hands at her sides holding onto God’s hand as she peered in wonder over the side, showing no fear of falling, trusting the One Who held her in the palm of His hand.
She smiled as she took in the breathtaking view of the earth growing smaller beneath her, as He took her up, up, and farther still.
As she realized that He was taking her up into the heavens, Analee lifted her gaze upward. Her eyes sparkled with the reflection of countless stars that surrounded her.
She looked around her at the hand of God in wondrous awe at the size of it compared to her smallness (for she appeared as a tiny, porcelain doll next to the greatness that held her), and she wondered at the size of it compared to the smallness of everything else.
Then she gazed upward again and took in all of her surroundings. She saw the beautiful, brilliant colors of so many galaxies, glimmering in the distance. Breathless and smiling, she wondered why she was being given this rare privilege of seeing the world and its smallness compared to the One, Who created it all.
And God said, “I want her to see her beauty next to all of creation and how I hold her in the palm of My hand. She is the apple of My eye, and I keep her every longing dear to my heart.”
“I want her to know that I created all of the beauty that surrounds her in the heavens, and she is fairer still.”
“I love her with an infinite love to which no one can compare. She is my daughter, beloved and cared for.”
“I want her to see the smallness of the world beneath her feet. There is nothing in heaven or on earth that can compare to my love for her.”
“I send her a newness of life that will refresh her spirit and strengthen her to finish that for which I have called her. I know her trust is in Me, and I see her tears as she struggles to remain steadfast. Her tears are now precious pearls set precisely into place in each crown I have stored up in heaven for her.”
“Be of good courage, My daughter, for you are not forgotten, and My hand is not too short to lift you up, up, and farther still. Your beauty will be timeless for all eternity, and I have prepared a place for you in My home where all your longings will seem insignificant and forgotten forever, and your struggles will leave you, as the fullness of your joy overwhelms even the angles singing praises as you return to Me, your Father, Who loves you with a love to which none can compare.”
As I sit, reading what God has had me to commit to writing for my friend, my heart is filled with so much gratitude that He has chosen my hands to deliver His love letter to Analee. Through this beautiful experience, He also showed me that so often we cannot fathom the depth of His love for us. He holds each of us in His hand in this same way. His love for each one of us is just as infinite. His hand is not too short to lift each of us up, up, and farther still.
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This really touched me. It reminds me of an image from one of the classic masters, George MacDonald (C.S. Lewis' mentor). What a reality check! This is a beautiful reminder to maintain an eternal perspective of our faraway future home while living on this little round ball floating in space......