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Shady treeI’ve gotten in the habit of calling our dog “puppy.” It started, of course, when she was a chubby, furball of a puppy, and I just kept it up. It’s a term of endearment for our very fun, lively, playful dog. It seems to suit her, even though she’s now almost 1 1/2 years old.

I heard someone ask the question lately, “How old do you feel? In other words, if you didn’t know how old you were, how old would you say you are?” I said probably 35 or so. I still feel like I did back then, even though I’ve seen a number more birthdays than that! How would you answer that question?

I still think of my parents in the way they were when I was in high school or so, even though they’ve aged since then. To me, they are my young, vibrant, fun-loving parents for always.

In the book “Heaven is for Real,” a little boy who nearly died got to see heaven and when he tells his parents about it, says he met his Grandfather.  When his dad showed him a photo of Granddad, the boy said “No, that’s not him.”  But when he saw an old photo of the grandfather when he was a young man, he recognized him, “There he is!” What a beautiful thought – that when we live with God eternally, we will be forever young.  It makes sense to me that we would be radiating life as our young selves, not be wrinkled, aged, bent over, stiff or in pain from many years of earthly life.

My dad once preached a sermon about how God is always new, never grows old.  For some reason, we often picture Him as an old man or grandpa-type, but the thought that he doesn’t age, is always Himself, always current, relevant and new is thought-provoking, refreshing, and encouraging.

Perhaps when God sees you and I, He always sees our souls as the ones He made us to be in the beginning.  In fact, the more I think about it, I totally believe that.  Once we’ve accepted Jesus’ sacrifice and righteousness and are washed clean of our sins. In God’s eyes we stand unblemished, untarnished, the purest form of ourselves.

I even wonder if little babies who die early in life might be in heaven as young adults or at least children old enough to speak, sing, run, laugh, recognize others, and more. Who knows??  We will have to wait and see.

Some friends of mine just lost their beautiful 23-year-old daughter who fought a degenerative disease most of her life and finally succumbed last week and went to heaven.  I know she’s with Jesus and is whole, free, fresh and new.  She will live with God in the form He designed for her, unbroken by this world, forever young.

I can’t wait to see her like that when I get there.

Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength.  I Corinthians 15:43

Heaven is For Real, by Todd Burpo, copyright 2010, published by Thomas Nelson