Heaven Is for Real is the true story of the four-year old son of a small town Nebraska pastor who during emergency surgery slips from consciousness and enters heaven. He survives and begins talking about being able to look down and see the doctor operating and his dad praying in the waiting room. The family didn’t know what to believe but soon the evidence was clear.
Colton said he met his miscarried sister, whom no one had told him about, and his great grandfather who died 30 years before Colton was born, then shared impossible-to-know details about each. He describes the horse that only Jesus could ride, about how “reaaally big” God and his chair are, and how the Holy Spirit “shoots down power” from heaven to help us.
Told by the father, but often in Colton’s own words, the disarmingly simple message is heaven is a real place, Jesus really loves children, and be ready, there is a coming last battle.
I am writing this review in the shadow of my grandmothers passing a week ago Joyce Thomas. I was recommended to read this book by a retired Anglican priest of 60+ years in ministry Canon Rev. Francis Lightbourne who is also my grandmother to me.
I approached the book with an open mind and analytical approach. I read this book over the christmas holidays so I had time to think and reflect over it. If you are a Christian this book will reinforce your belief in heaven but furthermore give hope and excitement of reuniting with your love ones.
The book in general is slow however the dialog between the Colton and his Father Pastor Todd is what engages the read and keeps you hooked to this amazing revelation.
The most important questions I asked myself throughout the book is Why this child? Why this family?
To answer these questions you have to look at how God works throughout scripture and more to the point the life and work of Jesus Christ. Of all the ways God could have come to redeem the world he choose a persecuted people group living under Roman occupation, a young Jewish girl from a poor village and carpenter to be entrusted with most important person that came into human history.
The is question one needs to ask yourself is? is it to much of a stretch or leap of faith to believe God could have given a child a quick tour of heaven.
There are three things that stand out for me in this testimony.
1) Pastor’s Todd prayer in the hospital: “of all the prayers that God could have answered it was the one that I prayed out of frustration, anger, sorrow and weakness…” God’s is not put off by our raw emotions or fragile faith. Todd also realized he needed his community to lift him up in prayer when he wasn’t strong enough himself.
2) Colton’s experiences of Heaven: I felt that Pastor scriptural references were reasonable to collaborate Colton’s encounters.
3) “in a boxing match, the fighters absorb some vicious blows they’re ready for them. And usually, the knockout punch is the one they didn’t see coming.
Final thoughts: I full heartedly agree when Pastor Todd said “most people thought this was a wonderful gift to have received but few would be willing to take the journey to receive it.