You may have heard or read some of the recently popular books - "Heaven is for Real" by Todd Burpo or "The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven" by Kevin Malarkey. I have read the first, but not the later myself. Since becoming a Christian I have often thought of Heaven, but not nearly as much as I have since learning that most likely my son will leave this earth sooner than I would like - that he will likely be waiting for me there instead of me waiting for him. "Heaven is for Real" is a great book that encouraged me in my beliefs about what the Bible teaches about heaven and about the Lord.
A few weeks ago our pastor spoke about Heaven. Unfortunately I wasn't in the sanctuary for the message, but Jeff told me about it afterwards. One of the things that our pastor shared about was the faith that King David had that he would see his infant son once again. (Please see 2 Samuel 12 for the complete story). The second part of 2 Samuel 12:23 says, "I will go to him, but he will not return to me." While our pastor shared that no where in the Bible does it say -- "Babies go to heaven" -- these verses indicate for us that BABIES DO GO TO HEAVEN.
Does that mean that I will not mourn when Ethan goes to be with the Lord, or anyone else that I love, NO. But does that mean that I have faith and I have hope, yes. If you have never read the "Faith" chapter of the Bible - Hebrews 11, or it has been a while, I would encourage you to check it out. Hebrews 11:1 says, " Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see." For while I can not see heaven, I have confidence that heaven is for real. I have confidence that because of Jesus and his sacrifice on the cross -- paying a price that He did not owe because it was a price that we could not pay -- and because He invites us into a relationship with Him, that we can have spend eternity in heaven with Him. John 3:16 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."
I also have faith that infants, children and adults that are unable to understand God's gift of love and grace due to age or mental ability, go to heaven when they die. I believe that every baby who died before being born is in heaven with the Lord and that the parents who put their faith in Jesus will see them someday. 1 Thessalonians 4:13 reminds believers that while we may mourn the loss of loved ones who are fellow believers that we have hope - that we do not have to grieve as if we didn't, "Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope."
So, while I am grieving with my friends for the loss of their little ones, I have hope. I have faith that Chase and Ilan are now whole! PBD is gone, they are free of pain or suffering, they have been healed by the Great Physician. In Revelation 21:4 we have the promise: "He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
- Please pray for the parents and families of Chase and Ilan. Pray that the Lord will give them comfort and strength as the mourn their loss and ache for their little boys. Pray that those around them will come to know Jesus, if they do not already.
- Please pray for a cure to PBDs! Pray that miracles would happen! Pray that researchers and doctors would use the knowledge that God has given them to develop treatments and a cure for these nasty disorders.
- Pray for all families who have been changed forever because of PBDs. Pray for those whose little ones wait for them in Heaven and for those whose little ones are still fighting this horrible disease. Pray that they will have the strength to make the best decisions for their children and the energy needed to be the be best parents possible for their little ones.
- Pray that organizations such as the Global Foundation for Peroxisomal Disorders would be able to continue to minister to families impacted by PBDs. This organization has been such a blessing to our family!
- Pray that Ethan will continue to grow strong and remain healthy. Pray for his development and that he would continue to make progress.
- Pray that Jeff and I will seek the Lord in all that we do as we parent our precious boy. Pray that we will never take him for granted and that we will cherish each day we have with him.
If you don't have a relationship with Jesus - please know that you can have this hope. Romans 5:8 speaks of how great God's love is for us - "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. " If you would like to talk to someone about God's love for you, please let me know. You can also read more about becoming a Christian here.