i have a new favorite author and his name is randy alcorn. i just finished his book, "heaven", and i'm telling everyone about it.
for me, it gave great perspective during these past few difficult months. there is that cliche that people use when you go through a devastating event: "with time, it will get better." or, "this, too, shall pass." reading this book was like i had pushed a fast-forward button for my grieving time for jonathan.
in a nutshell, (the book is 500+ pages long, but don't let that scare you) isn't it true that when you're in a situation that you know is temporary, it makes it a lot easier to get through it? when there is a light at the end of the tunnel, people can endure extraordinary difficulties for a short amount of time. for me right now, it is the death of my baby boy. for someone else, it may be a difficult marriage. or taking care of a family member who is unable to care for themselves. or, it may be a missionary who has given up all material possessions and family to live in a jungle far from home in order to share who Jesus is.
i get that now.
i believe that it is a better understanding of heaven and what awaits us there, that allows for someone to be able to gracefully endure the hardships of this world that we all will face at some point. it is the understanding that our life here in this world is but a fleeting moment while our time in true paradise lasts for an eternity.
"Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create, for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy. I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in my people;the sound of weeping and of crying will be heard in it no more. Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years..." Isaiah 65:17-20.
alcorn does a great job of sticking to the scriptures and making sure that everything he says is biblically-based and not opinion or flippant inference. he covers all the questions people have about heaven, including what we will know and learn, what our relationships with each other will be like, what we might do in heaven (will we be bored?) it's a must-read for everyone, believers and unbelievers alike, and especially, in my opinion, moms like me who need to know more about this place where our babies are and what it will be like to see them again.
if you read it, or have read it, i'd love to hear your thoughts.