I heard the buzz last spring and decided to pick up a copy before I went to Ghana. Everyone had been talking about Heaven Is For Real by Todd Burpo and me being slightly obsessed with a good story, I decided I needed to see what it was all about.
Fast forward six months later and I still haven’t read the book – but Sarah and I received Heaven Is For Real For Kids from Tommy Nelson Publishing a few weeks ago and it sparked discussion that wouldn’t have occurred had this book never ceased to exist.
Ironically, (yes, I know. NEVER ironically), Sarah had been asking me some pretty deep questions about heaven – can we take our toys? Will we see Ellie (our dog)? Will you go first or will I? (GULP.)
It never ceases to amaze me how God often literally drops something straight from the sky (from Him?) to our laps when we need it the most. Yes, I know that sometimes it feels like He is far away (which He never is we just FEEL like He is – a topic for another post) but the thing I love most about God is that He was and is and is to come.
Truth is powerful.
If you aren’t familiar with this story, Colton Burpo was three years old when he was in a car accident while traveling with his family. During an emergency surgery, he was able to see Jesus and visit heaven. The more he shared with his parents once he recovered from this horrific accident, the more convinced they became that there was no way he could know such detailed and biblically-sound information without being a personal witness to it himself.
Sarah and I settled in to read one windy, autumn night and she was spellbound from the moment I cracked it open – was it the amazingly beautiful illustrations? Or was it the Bible verses on each page that coincided with the content on each page? (Check it out in the flipbook above!)
Or was it plain and simple? The truth of it all.
The story begins with a small bit about how Colton was met by Jesus in his hospital room then traveled to heaven as an angel.
“Heaven is more amazing than you can imagine. I could hear beautiful music and see lots of colors. Big, bright rainbows are everywhere you look. The streets are gold, the gates are made of pearl, and shiny jewels are on teh walls,” it reads.
This same page contains verses 19 and 21 from Revelation 21 – “The foundation of stones of the city walls had every kind of jewel in them…The 12 gates were 12 pearls. Each gate was made from a single pearl. The street of the city was made of pure gold. The gold was clear as glass.”
How’s that for accurate?
Perhaps the most comforting part of this book for Sarah and I was the page about the animals in heaven.
I know. Controversy.
But I personally find it hard to believe that these little beings with the cocoa eyes that instinctively know when we are sad, happy, angry, or all of the above, would not actually be in heaven with us someday. So when we read that “God, people, angels, and even animals are in heaven. All the same types of animals that are on earth are in heaven, but in heaven THEY ALL GET ALONG. You can play with any animal you like. I got to play with dogs, cats, elephants, and even kangaroos, but my favorite animals were the lions and Jesus’ big white horse.”
The scripture used on this same page came from Isaiah 11:6 – “Then the wolves will live in peace with the lambs. And leopards will lie down to rest with goats. Calves, lions, and young bulls will eat together. And a little child will lead them.”
Though Sarah liked the thought of Ellie being in heaven perhaps someday, she loved the idea of Jesus’ white horse, which in the book sports a rainbow-hued mane, even more. SOLD.
And for the first time, I didn’t shudder when she stated that she couldn’t wait to get to heaven. After reading Heaven is For Real For Kids, I couldn’t either.
For your chance to win a copy of Heaven Is For Real For Kids, please leave a comment and share what/who YOU hope to see in heaven. Like me on Facebook if you want. Subscribe if you want (upper right corner). Follow me on Twitter if you want.
But please do leave a comment to win – and do so by Black Friday at 10 p.m. central time, please!
Happy Thanksgiving, Friends! Thankful for YOU!