” I must go on boasting. Although there is nothing to be gained, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord. I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows” 2 Corinthians 12: 1-2
I have never been to the Third Heaven. I know people who have had dreams of wonder, and have met the Lord. I know faithful ones who have talked about God speaking to them. And there are people who have been healed in a twinkling of an eye. They are sometimes called ecstatic experiences of the Divine.
Maybe I do not need it. Or, maybe I am not yet ready to have God revealed to me in this way. In my human experience, God speaks to me, I think, at my desk while I am reading Scripture. No smoke and mirrors here. No opening of the heavens. Just reading and knowing that the Spirit is with me.
Paul was extraordinary. He preached at all those synagogues. He wrote at least thirteen letters that became scripture. He had the gifts of healing, wisdom and persuasion. And he was in the third heaven. I do not know what it is, but it sounds cool. He may be talking about his Damascus Road experience. Sometimes, I wish I was knocked off my horse, and the sky opens, and I hear a voice. I fell off my bike one time, and a voice said, ” Why were you riding with no hands ? “. Not exactly the voice of God !
I am happy for Paul. He needed that assurance from God. Jeremiah, Isaiah, Mary and Joseph all had encounters like this with God. I do not need one to deepen my faith. I wonder what such an experience would do to me, and for me. I wait patiently for such an experience.
show me your ways,