Eleven months ago the Lord was pleased to bring a difficult trial into the life of my family. My youngest daughter was diagnosed with Wilm’s Tumor kidney cancer. I say the Lord was pleased, not because he is cruel, but because every thing he ordains, including difficulties, are to fulfill and complete his marvelous works in this world and our lives. And this includes my daughter’s kidney cancer as well.
Through this trial my wife, my children, and I have fallen on the Lord’s grace and re-learned that he is faithful. Through this trial we have been prayed for by dear Christian friends and Christian family members and received blessing upon blessing. Through this trial God has moved the hearts of too many people to count to help care for our daughter and shown us that his grace has been poured out upon this earth.
For example two neat organizations that blessed us are Make-A-Wish and Give Kids the World. Make-A-Wish is a charitable organization that grants wishes to children with life threatening illnesses. Our daughter received a wish and asked that our family could receive a week vacation in Florida to see Disney World. Give Kids the World, founded by Henri Landwirth, partnered with Make-A-Wish to provide us with comfortable accommodations, great food, and tickets to all the theme parks in Orlando. It was a wonderful family vacation and most importantly a special time with our daughter. We are so thankful for this generous gift and all the people that made it possible.
There are so many people who give of themselves to benefit suffering children because there is nothing quite as tragic as childhood suffering. Suffering does not make sense, but none-the-less we maintain that the Lord remains the good Lord. It is also fitting that these children would have the opportunity to be "given the world" in the midst of their trial. So again I cannot express how grateful I am for the generosity shown to my daughter and our family by all.
In fact as I think deeply about it there must be nothing in the whole world as tragic as childhood suffering and nothing as magnanimous as "giving these kids the world." There is nothing more noble that is, except one thing only, which is "giving kids the kingdom."
Jesus reminded us that there is more to life than this world. Jesus came to bring good news and hope because as wonderful as the things of this world are, Jesus is building an even more wonderful kingdom in heaven for his children. And for many children suffering through trials in this world is hardly wonderful. But if there were truly the hope of the final end of suffering and a heaven where there were no more sadness or tears, then it would be the most wonderful thing of all to give children this Kingdom.
Friends, there is just such a Kingdom and Jesus is its King. You can read about him in the Christian Scriptures. And though I cannot personally bestow the rights to his Kingdom upon you, Jesus can, and you can receive it from him. Jesus said, "But as many as received him, to them he gave the right to become God's children, to those who believe in his name: who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God" (John 1:12-13 WEB).
This important verse makes it clear that you cannot become God’s child because you were born from Christian or even godly parents. You also cannot become God’s child because you merely decided you want to be his child and go to heaven. You cannot even become God’s child because your husband, parents, pastor, friend, or I want you to.
The good news is that you must be born again to become God’s child. The beauty of being God's child is that it is not something we can do to ourselves by trying to be good. Otherwise it would be a miserable failure. Instead, the very Spirit of God must reach inside each one of us and change us. God must make us willing to trust and obey Jesus with a new heart. You must be born of God. Thankfully that is exactly God's business... changing hearts.
Whatever your situation, whether you have been given this world’s pleasures or not, I pray that you would receive the Lord Jesus Christ and look forward to his eternally wonderful Kingdom in Heaven, promised to all his children!