“In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you” (John 14:2).
Excitement filled the air. Joel, almost two years old, and four-year-old Jami were going on their first family trip ever! Mom and Dad were packing the last items in the car, and Uncle Doug and Aunt Kathy would soon be joining them on their weekend getaway to the coast of Maine. As they headed down the New York highway with Uncle Doug and Aunt Kathy in the car behind them, Joel and Jami started to lose some of their energetic spirit. Where were the ocean and the sand they could play in? Mom and Dad soon explained that they would have to wait hours for that part of the trip. Right now, they could only look out the window and wait. Trees and power lines whizzed by. It wasn’t much fun yet.
Soon after stopping at a rest stop and rearranging the seating placement in the two cars, the travelers got back on the highway with the three guys in one car and the three ladies in the other. It wasn’t very long until the cars finally slowed down again. They had reached a line of cars waiting at a toll booth. Just as their dad handed his money to the attendant in the booth, a huge 18-wheel tractor trailer truck rammed into some cars behind them. The speed and force were so incredible that, like dominoes, cars started smashing into each other until the car with Joel, his dad, and his uncle was hit. Not only was the car turned around, but also the gas tank of the car exploded.
Of the three people in that car, Joel’s burns were by far the worst. In fact, over 85 percent of his body was burned. Doctors from around the world agree that he had the worst injuries of any burn survivor up to that point. The doctors did everything they could do, but they knew that the best care he could receive was found at the Shriners Burn Institute. However, Shriners had no available beds. Joel’s family and friends began praying, and a bed soon became available. A bed was reserved for Joel because another patient had died.
Twenty-six years and forty-five surgeries later, Joel has recovered well and has become a well-known speaker and author. He says in his autobiography that even after all these years and all his experiences, he is still in awe that another person had to die in order for him to live and receive needed care at Shriners. Just like someone died to reserve his spot at Shriners, Jesus Christ died to reserve us a place in Heaven. After He was in the grave three days, He rose from the dead and ministered on earth. As He left earth again to join His Father in Heaven, He promised us that He has reserved a place for us in Heaven because of his death. Joel was able to witness firsthand a beautiful picture of what Christ did for us!
God’s Son died so that you could have a place reserved for you in Heaven.Find more devotions here