Imagine the pain of receiving the kind of phone call every parent dreads. Not one, but two teenage daughters involved in a terrible car accident. All their earthly hopes and dreams for their daughters extinguished at the side of the road, Phil and Heather Stoddart grieved. But they did not greive in the same way as those with no hope. Why? Because actually their hopes for their daughters were not extinguished that day. They had a hope for them that went beyond the tragedy of their death. Phil Stoddart has turned the anguish caused by loss and the comfort of Jesus’ presence during the darkest times into an engaging book, A12 to Heaven, that I found hard to put down. Here is how Phil describes this book himself:
This book is a testimony to the kindness of Jesus. Day after day for a whole year I recorded how his love just blew me away. I cried uncontrollably so many times in his presence as he revealed to me so much about himself and the wonders to come. Whatever your circumstances, if you think you’re alone, read this book and think again. If you have already met Jesus, come and be reassured that nothing is too difficult for him. There is truly no one and no thing that we can lose that can surpass what we have gained in belonging to him.
The subtitle of the book is “can anyone help in the darkest hour?” and it demonstrates that the answer is a resounding yes. It also reminded me of the fact that ihave been remarkably blessed. I don’t want to ever take for granted the amazing gift of grace that is a wife and five healthy children. As I write this, the emotions I felt when I first read this book months ago come flooding back. I find myself praying that I be constantly reminded of my good fortune. Please God keep me constantly grateful for all your temporary blessings to me, mindful that they can be taken away at any moment, and, more than that, with my gaze fixed on the eternal blessings that are mine in Christ Jesus whatever happens on earth.
Phil Stoddart has also since set up a new Christian publisher which has released some very interesting books as well as his. I encourage you to have a look at Last Word Publications and order some of their books.