Wish: a Novel by Jake Smith

Category:  Christian fiction
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc
Release Date:  April 18, 2014
My Rating:  2 Stars

Description:

James McConnell’s one wish is that his nine-year-old son will finally be healthy enough to play a game of catch. Then he and his wife, Emily, receive news they’ve dreaded: Aaron’s cancer has relapsed.

As the family steels themselves for a draining treatment regimen in yet another hospital, Aaron receives the gift of a lifetime—a personal visit from one of his favorite professional baseball players—and the chance to make a bold request, his wish: to see his dad play in one major league game.

A former college standout, James fears he doesn’t have the talent it takes, even for one game, and that he’ll miss what could be Aaron’s precious last weeks. Yet how can he refuse his dying son’s wish?

Poignant and triumphant, Wish is the story of a father’s love, a family’s perseverance, and the miracles that can happen when you believe in the impossible.

Review:

Wish is a beautiful story. It is not overtly Christian but it is sold as Christian fiction and the reader understands that the McConnell's are a believing family. I was ready to give this book a 5 star rating until I got to the section where Aaron asks his father, James, what heaven would be like. This is what James said:

Well, I take that to mean that the place prepared for each of us is full of the things we loved when we were here. It’s not something untouchable or something we can’t understand.” James held out his hand for the baseball, and Aaron gently placed it in his open palm. “God’s there, of course. Which, I suppose, is really what makes it heaven. But also the things we love to do, the people we love I think our individual mansions in heaven are filled with those. Grandparents, friends, family, pets.

"God's there of course"??? WHAT!  This is disturbing. The view given above is a completely self-focused view made to provide comfort not truth.  We were not created for self edification.

Why were we created? We were created for God's pleasure! Catch that...God's pleasure not ours.

You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.
— Revelation 4:11
All things were created by him and for him.
— Colossians 1:16
Are you looking at your salvation as a "get out of hell free pass"? That would greatly cheapen Christ's sacrifice for his children on the cross! Do you desire a heaven filled with the glory of God? A heaven in which we worship him day and night. That is the heaven that we were created for; to honor the creator and not the created.

In Revelation 4 and 5 Paul gives us the vision the Lord gave him. A glimpse into the worship of heaven.

Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice,

”Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!”

And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying,

”To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”

And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped.
— Revelation 5:11-14 ESV

So many twists of the word of God. Jake Smith may be well-intentioned but his "good" intentions paint a very inaccurate view of the Holy God of Scripture. God will not be mocked. Always remember that God demands that

You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God that I command you.
— Deuteronomy 4:2 ESV
 
Jake Smith

Jake Smith

(The official word…)
Jake Smith is an author and magazine editor who lives in Traverse City, Michigan, with his wife, Vickie, their three children, and a Labrador retriever. A former assistant high school baseball coach and All-State shortstop, Jake now spends his time on the field helping coach his kids’ youth baseball teams.Wish is Jake’s debut novel, and he hopes it will help support children’s hospitals, patient and family foundations, and participation in the National Marrow Donor Program