A couple of years back on a beautiful day, I was driving with two of my young grandsons to a fun destination when the topic of heaven came up. It was insightful and enjoyable to hear them talk and inform me about heaven—what was there and what it was like. A great reflection of their young, tender hearts and how much they had already learned about joy in Jesus.
As their grandmother, I took opportunity to give them a bit of my own insight into my personal journey toward heaven, hoping that when the day arrives for me to enter there, maybe they would remember what I said to them and would find comfort in my words.
So in a very easy-going and casual way, I started out by telling them that one day Jesus would call my name. Of course, questions then came my way about what that means and why I know I’m going to heaven. As I described my entering eternity in a way that small boys could understand, they must have really liked what they heard because my then 5-year old grandson made a simple and very enthusiastic statement that has never left me. “Grandma,” he said, “I want Jesus to call my name first!”
Because he liked what he was hearing, and because he resonated with the idea of Jesus calling someone’s name to come and enjoy His incredible heaven, he wanted to be first. It was just that simple for him. Not so for me though, as I thought about the meaning of his words. I was jolted and clearly remember my first thought being, “Please God, no. Don’t take him first. Please don’t let that happen!”
Many of us have heard and benefited from messages and blogs and books and articles on faith and trust in God, how that should play out in our lives, and how we should always be desiring to take steps toward a deeper, stronger faith. Some great thoughts and direction come from those types of sources.
But on a beautiful day, while driving together toward someplace fun, the innocent words spoken by my very young and trusting grandson continue giving the power needed to keep me taking inventory of my faith should God take me to a place of deep tragedy. And I’m grateful that God brings this memory back to me over and over, and that He will use any and all things—even the words of a very small boy—to keep myself and all of us running hard after Him.