French scientist and mathematician Blaise Pascal died on August 19, 1622, at 39 years of age. When he died a piece of parchment was found sewn into the lining of his jacket. The parchment included a written account of a deep experience of joy 8 years prior to his death:
Year of grace 1654, Monday 23 November, feast of St. Clement . . .
from about half past ten at night to about half an hour after midnight, FIRE.
God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob,
not of philosophers and scholars.
Certainty, heartfelt joy, peace.
God of Jesus Christ. God of Jesus Christ.
“My God and your God.” . . .
Joy, Joy, Joy,
tears of joy. . . Jesus Christ.
May I never be separated from him.
Rico Tice comments on what was happening to Pascal Here:
As he read his Bible, he had encountered Jesus himself. The joyful God. He was experiencing just a tiny foretaste of what heaven will be like. Forgetfulness of the world with all its idols. And in its place: joy.
Each person of the Trinity- other-focused, self-giving, generously pouring himself out unselfishly for the sake of others. It’s irrepressible. Overflowing. Like a gushing spring of water. That’s why it says in the final chapter of the Bible, “Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life” (Revelation 22:17).
Can you see how staggering this is? No other god is like this God. That means that the greatest gift God could possibly give you… is himself. What makes heaven heaven is nothing less than being united with God.
Revelation 21:3-4 tells us…
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
Do you know this God? Come and drink!