I asked the kids in our bible study their thoughts on heaven expecting Romper Room answers like, “Heaven is like a soccer game that never ends” or “I want wings and an endless supply of candy” or “The streets will be made of gold, right?” I wanted them to fill in the blanks so that I could make my point and move on with the study. However, I was hardly able to continue when Amanda responded “rest”. She responded with emotion, as a soldier pining for rest from battle. She did not strike me as the type to read Hebrews Chapters 3-4 and come away with this theological jewel on her own. “Who told you that one of the benefits of heaven will be rest?” “No one”, she responds. So, this begs the question “Is the restful nature of heaven intuitive?” I think that the answer is yes. I don’t need special revelation to tell me that God is good. His goodness is all around me. Nor does Amanda need special revelation to tell her that one of the effects of the fall is difficulty and stress. She represents one of many kids that we work with from Morro dos Macacos (Monkey Hill), one of the more dangerous favelas in Rio. Amanda is surrounded by drug use, broken families, prostitution and the like. I, like Amanda, look forward to the promise of rest. There is a real resonation in my soul when I think on this idea of entering God’s rest which is spoken of in Hebrews.
Amanda is a forgotten kid in this country. Society looks at her and others like her and concludes that she is not worth the effort, that she will never amount to anything. We are here because we know that this is not how Jesus sees her. He sees his child whom he has great plans for; plans which, one day, include rest.