I have been reading a wonderful little book called Heaven is for Real. It is the story of a little boy, Colton, who, when extremely ill in hospital with a burst appendix, had experiences of being in heaven.
His father, Todd Burpo, writes the book. Colton was three years and ten months of age when he was so ill.
During weeks, months, and even years after his hospitalization, Colton kept astounding his parents, Todd and Sonja, by continuing to reveal a number of amazing experiences he had had. Todd wrote:
- … Colton said that he "went up out of" his body, that he had spoken with angels, and had sat on Jesus' lap. And the way we knew he wasn't making it up was that he was able to tell us what we were doing in another part of the hospital: "You were in a little room by yourself praying, and Mommy was in a different room and she was praying and talking on the phone." (Heaven is For Real, Todd Burpo with Lynne Vincent; 2010 Thomas Nelson Inc. Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved, page 61)
The experiences Colton revealed fit with what the Bible states. The apostle Paul writes, "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 12:2 NIV). We cannot know to what extent Colton was "up out of his body," or out of his body and in his body at the same time. God knows. Colton's doctor did not report that Colton was clinically dead at any time.
Yet, for us, even a small sampling of Colton's Scripture-paralleling experiences contributes to our faith.
Colton indicated that Jesus was on the right hand of God in heaven (page 100-101). We read at Hebrews 1:3b that "After [Jesus] had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven."
Colton was intent on telling people of experiencing, in heaven, that "Jesus really really loves children" (page 106). The Bible records Jesus saying, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these" (Mark 10:14b).
Colton said that people, except Jesus, had wings in heaven, but that Colton's own were very little. And Colton said Jesus didn't have wings; "Jesus just went up and down like an elevator" (page 70). The Bible says of Jesus' ascension, "While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven" (Luke 24:51).
Colton said to his father, "It doesn't get dark in heaven" (page 104). Regarding heaven, the Bible book of Revelation reads, "The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp" (Revelation 21:23).
Todd asked Colton about God's throne in heaven and Colton said," … really, really big, because God is the biggest one there is. And he really really loves us, Dad. You can't belieeeeve how much he loves us" (page 100). The Bible says, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).
Prayer: "I do believe; Lord, help my unbelief" (Mark 9:24b NKJV). Thank You for giving us an abundance of experiences that contribute to our faith. Please cause us to recognize that these are from You. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.