Saturday, March 14, 2009

90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper

I think about eternity a lot so I was interested in seeing what someone who had some experience there had to say. This book isn't as much about heaven as it is about the author's road to recovery, the lessons God taught him, and how God is using his experience to help others.

I won't give away a lot of details in case you want to read it, but it tells of the horrific accident that crushes him and kills him, how no one even tried to get him out of the crushed car for 90 minutes because he was dead, and how a preacher driving the same road was prompted to pray for him while he was dead.

What was interesting was that the preacher was not prompted to pray him back to life but instead to pray that there would be no internal injuries. All the while Don was at heaven's gate being greeted by people who had gone before him. People who had played a part in his salvation, and those who he had helped lead to Christ. His descriptions of heaven definitely give you something to reflect on and look forward to.

I loved the way he described the people but he did say that it was not really possible to give an accurate description of anything because it was all beyond anything we could imagine. Everyone looked as he remembered them but they were all beautiful and overflowing with love, and happiness. He said that there was singing that was like nothing he had ever experienced. That seemed to be what stuck with him the most.

One of the lessons he learned after he came back resonated with me. While he was in the hospital people would come to see him and would always ask if there was something they could do for him. He always answered no. He said he didn't even sound too appreciative either and these people who loved him, would end up looking quite dejected when they left.

Don was a preacher and now it was time for everyone to be able to give back to him some of what he had given to them over the years. God showed him that these people wanted to minister to him. That this was their ministry and that he was depriving them of it.

When he realized that, he forced himself to start saying yes when people would ask if he needed anything or if there was anything they could do for him. One man asked and so he said sure he could use a magazine. That guy went from dejected to excited, hurried out of the room and came back with an arm load of magazines. He was thrilled to be able to minister to Don.

I can really relate to this from both perspectives. I have been in a number of situations where I really wanted to help a friend who was facing a trial but wasn't sure what to do. When I would ask, the answer would come back nothing. I have had that happen just recently with a couple of good friends. It really frustrates me that they won't let me help. As Don learned, saying no all the time prevents others from the privilege of doing the ministry God made them to do.

By the same token, I have been on the side that says no a time or two also. It's very easy to let pride get in the way or to think I can handle it without help sometimes. But God is teaching me too, that saying no to people who want to help deprives them of their blessing. So when someone does something for me I try to say thank you and remember that God will bless them for their kindness.

Overall I think this was a pretty good book even though it didn't make my favorites list in my sidebar. God is clearly using this book to touch hearts so I do recommend it, especially to those who are dealing with or facing death. The unknown can be frightening but for those of us whose salvation is secure in Christ, we are simply stepping from this life into the next. The better life that is filled with unfathomable peace, contentment, and happiness with our Wonderful God. I do look forward to it.

Book Review by Edie

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind ~ Luke 10:27

1 comment:

  1. I have listened to the audiobook version of this book and what struck me was Don's experience of heaven. He didn't get to see the whole of it as he reached only outside the gate. The faces of the people he saw who were so happy to see him and to welcome him. I lost my mom when I was 14 and sometimes I dream about her being so alive. When my mom was alive she had a hard life having 9 kids with an alcoholic husband, my dad. Her death brought my dad to his knees and came to know and accepted the Lord as his Savior. But I so miss my mom and I am looking forward to see her in heaven in the future. I am sure that she would be prettier than she was alive because there the Lord wiped away her tears and took away all her troubles. She would be wearing that brilliant smile and glorious face because of the glory and beauty of our Lord.