4-year-old shares glimpses of heaven

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 27, 2010

While watching a morning news show recently, I saw an interesting interview with a father, Todd Burpo, and his 11-year-old son, Colton, who live in a small town in Nebraska.

If you’ve ever wondered about what happens when you die, Colton can tell you about his experience. His dad has written his “little boy’s astounding story of his trip to heaven and back” in a new book titled, “Heaven Is So Real.”

In 2003, Colton had emergency surgery when his appendix burst, and he spent 17 days in critical condition. His parents didn’t know whether Colton would survive. Thankfully, their son lived and afterwards, over a two-year period, he began telling amazing things that they had difficulty believing at first.

Colton started making comments about looking down at the doctor operating on him and seeing his mom and dad in separate rooms praying for him during the surgery. Four months after the surgery, the family was driving past the Great Plains Regional Medical Center in North Platte, Nebraska where Colton was hospitalized.

They asked him if he remembered being in that hospital and Colton replied, “Yes, that’s where the angels sang to me.” More and more evidence convinced Todd and his wife, Sonja, that their son had visited heaven during his surgery. Colton knew details that no one had told him – details that were impossible for him to have known.

He described meeting John the Baptist, Jesus’ cousin – Biblical information he had not yet been taught in Sunday School. In the television interview, Colton said Jesus had “a smile that lights up the universe.”

Colton told of meeting his great-grandfather, “Pop,” in heaven. Pop died 30 years before Colton was born. Upon being shown a photo of Pop as an older man, Colton didn’t recognize him; but he instantly pointed to his great-grandfather in a picture of the gentleman in his younger years. Maybe we will all be young in heaven.

The clincher for the Burpo family came when Colton described meeting his sister in heaven. The parents had never told their son about a miscarriage that Sonja had a year before Colton was born. He said she hugged him. and said she was his sister.

Listening to the father and son share their story reminded me of Jesus’ words, “Out of the mouths of babes” You have called forth Your praise” (Matthew 21:16). Jesus also said that we must “receive the kingdom of God as a little child” (Mark 10:15). Through the faith of a little child, Colton caught a glimpse of heaven.

Whether or not you and I believe Colton’s story about going to heaven, there is no doubt that heaven is real. The Apostle John saw it and wrote his description in the book of Revelation. Jesus promised to prepare an eternal place for those who love Him.

Someone once said, “Other men see only a hopeless end, but the Christian rejoices in an endless hope.” Christians have the confidence and full assurance of hope when this life ends that heaven is real.