Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Kids' books

Last week I popped into Wesley Owen to see if there were any good childrens' books for a certain young man's first birthday present and although I didn't buy anything for him I did get myself something. A children's book entitled "What happens when we die?" (I think they got the decimal point in the wrong place on their website because I paid £1.50! It's also on amazon ). I'd looked in the adult section for stuff on grief but what they had didn't seem relevant. I'm not up for a long winded treatise, my purchase fitted the bill perfectly.

Although aimed at small children this book explained things gently and truthfully, about why we die, why Jesus came and the difference He has made to death and how we will all live again if we trust in Him. It wasn't wishy-washy stuff, the sort of false rubbish people will often say after someone's died; it was all based on the Bible, explaining what the Bible has to say and gives references to where it says it.

There is a lot of, well let's call a spade a spade, rubbish talked after someone dies. Lots of euphemisms - some people won't even say "die", which I suppose I can understand, but I don't find it helpful. As Dumbledore says in one of the Harry Potter novels (the first? afficiandos can fill me in I'm sure), "fear of the name only increases fear of the thing itself". Death for anyone who puts their trust in Jesus is going home, it's going somewhere better than where we are now. There's a lot of unknown about it and the unknown can be very scary, but I know Jesus knows me better than I do and if He says I'll be happy and at home there, then I'll take His word for that, or try to.

God's made some awesome promises about when we're with Him, take this one from Psalm 16:
"You have made known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand."
Filled with joy... in God's presence... eternal pleasures... at His right hand - so right next to God, in the place of honour, me, but not because of what I have done, rather what Jesus has done. (Also check out Psalm 84, it's amazing, "Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere" and yet we get to spend eternity in God's courts, in His house, in the best place there is.) The Bible's promises are staggering... beyond what we can understand.

Psalm 84 has also reminded me that we are just pilgrims here:
"Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
they are ever praising you.

5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.

6 As they pass through the Valley of Baca,
they make it a place of springs;
the autumn rains also cover it with pools.

7 They go from strength to strength,
till each appears before God in Zion."

Those who are in God's house are the first blessed, those who are already home. Then those who are still on the journey through the valley, going "from strength to strength", our destination appearing "before God in Zion". Whatever happens Jesus will make it ok and more than ok, Father help me to take heart and to remember your promises.

1 comment:

  1. Steph you are amazing! You really really are!

    Thankyou for this post. It means a lot to me!