Heaven is for Real
I just finished reading Todd Burpo's book, "Heaven is for Real". It is a book I have been wanting to read for a while and HIGHLY recommend it. The book is a true story about Todd's son Colton's trip to heaven and back during an emergency appendectomy. Colton was not yet four years old. So many things about this book intrigued and inspired me. Who doesn't want to know what heaven is like? I won't spoil the book for you by telling you things that Colton saw, such as who sits on the left side of God's throne while Jesus sits on the right or how old people are in heaven. Instead I will share the things that inspired or encouraged me.
First of all Colton saw people from his family who had passed away and that he had never met. One, a sister, who died as a result of a miscarriage. A miscarriage Colton had never known about. For how would you explain that to your 3 year old son in the first place? One night Colton was crying because he missed this sister (who was the age of a little girl) that was in heaven. This made me think about people from my family, or even friends, that are in heaven and that I will see again or meet for the first time. Maybe my grandfathers, who I have never met, will be there to welcome me. However, the ones that I think I am most curious to meet are my siblings - 5 of them. See my mom had 4 miscarriages (one was a set of twins) before she had me and then my sister. So many questions - are they girls or boys?; how old are they in heaven?; do they look like me?; what are their personalities like?
The second thing from the book that struck me was in chapter 19. Colton would reveal little tidbits of information of what he saw during the regular flow of life - meals, errands, etc. However he had one constant theme: he talked constantly about how much Jesus loves the children - constantly. He would wake up in the morning and say to his dad, "Hey Dad, Jesus told me to tell you, He really loves the children." He would say this over dinner, while brushing his teeth, at the end of a bible story. He had a non-stop message about Jesus' love for kids and in the end it transformed the way they did children's ministry in their church.
I have always known that Jesus had a special love for children. Maybe that is why when unborn babies die he adopts them and gives them school-aged bodies. But what hit me the hardest is that Jesus has given me the job of ministering to the children of FBC. Children that he loves so very much. Do I see in them what Jesus does? Do I treat them, teach them, love them like He wants me to? Do I believe that God uses children in amazing ways? How as a congregation do we see and treat them?
Then there are my own children. What am I doing as their parent to teach them, encourage them and point out their gifts and abilities. How do I discipline them?
In the end I am asking God to help me see and love children the way He does. Then maybe I will not only be a better parent or children's pastor but learn more about the faith I should have - faith like a child.
Who are the children in your life? Do you really love them like Jesus does?