What Minnesota taught me about heaven


It was a year ago today that I moved from Minnesota. I had a wonderful 2 and a half years in the Land of 10,000 lakes and it’s a place that will always be special to me.

When I first moved to Minnesota, I was single. On my days off, I used to drive around different parts of the state photographing lakes. I photographed around 300 in my time there.

I photographed lakes at sunrise and sunset. Lakes that were frozen over in the winter. Lakes that were muddy and lakes that were crystal clear. I photographed lakes that seemed like glorified ponds and lakes that seemed like oceans. Lakes where the water was choppy, and lakes where the water was as still.

Honestly, those are the most fun times I ever had by myself. Somedays, I’d photograph 20 lakes in just one day. I’d be out for hours.

What the world can teach us about heaven 

In our popular culture, the images of heaven are often so boring. Cartoons and movies often depict heaven as this place in the clouds where everyone is in white robes.

But I think of the incredible beauty that’s in our world. I think of the incredible beauty I found in just one part of one state. And heaven isn’t going to be a step down from that. It’s a step up to a place of infinitely greater beauty and perfection.

I think of the tremendous beauty in our world. The vastness of the great canyons and valleys. The greatness of the mountains. The kaleidoscope of colors in the oceans and seas. And as wonderful as the beauty is that we have in our fallen world, it is merely a foretaste of a place far greater.

(below are some of my favorite lake photos I took in Minnesota).


Long Lake – Otter Tail County, MN


Lake Lizzie – Otter Tail County, MN


Bass Lake – Otter Tail County, MN


West Battle Lake – Otter Tail County, MN


Beers Lake – Maplewood State Park


Round Lake – Cass County, MN



Hoot Lake – Fergus Falls, MN 


Schmidt Lake – Otter Tail County, MN 


Lake Minnewaska – Pope County, MN 


Lake Miltona – Douglas County, MN 


Hungry Man Lake – Two Inlets State Forest 

Thanks for reading! I’d love to hear what you think, and don’t forget to subscribe! 

Josh Benner is the pastor of Christian Bible Church in Cissna Park, Illinois. He has a Master of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He enjoys writing about faith and culture. He has an awesome wife named Kari.

Categories: Commentary, Photos

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1 reply

  1. What beautiful photos, our son is also a photo junkie. 😁 I will save these as he will love the settings you have captured. In our younger years we did enjoy Minnesota, the very north part. lake kabatogma .
    You and Kari should take your camera to shawnee natl Forrest in southern illinois it is beautiful.

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