I’m assuming we’ve all been there before and maybe more frequently than we’d like. For me it was beautiful. It was the best vacation I could have ever asked for. Not only were we on one of the most pristine islands in all of God’s green earth but we were getting ready to fly out, as a group, to one of the most remote and beautiful smaller islands. An island where humanity hasn’t corrupted it with garbage or cut down its trees. An island where animals rested, played, lived, swam, and bred. It was a place where we could walk the beach if we wanted, snorkel and swim with the turtles and fish if we so choose, or we could hike up this beautifully lush tree-swept “mini” mountain (I’m from the Pacific North West – and so most “mountains” seem “mini” in comparison to where I grew up). But then it happened. Just as we were about to board the seaplane MY ALARM WENT OFF AND I WOKE UP! NOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Once more I was foiled by sleep! But that made me wonder ABOUT dreams…
I’m not one who goes and interprets dreams mainly because my dreams are all over the place – but there was something about that dream the other night that really made me wonder, reflect, and hope for eternity. It was that pristine, unharmed, beautiful island where people and creatures interacted. It was the clean air, clear-blue water, and the beauty of God’s creation that took my breath away. It’s one of many images I think of when I picture the New Heaven and New Earth as promised to God’s children. It’s one of many hopes I have when I stand before my Lord and Savior and He says, “Well done good and faithful servant.”
I can remember sleepovers with a buddy when I was a kid where we’d stay up all night and dream of what heaven would be like. Will there be bacon? Will there be a 7-11 on every corner with free Slurpees of every flavor? Will there be basketball, soccer, swimming, and tennis? Will we be able to swim with the dolphins and not need a snorkel or have to come up for air? Will we be able to swing from the trees like Tarzan without having our hands burn like they do at the playground? Will we be able to run and run without getting tired? Will we roll down green hills with dandelions that have just turned white thus leaving a cloud of fluttering seeds behind us? Will I have the allergies that I currently have? It seemed like every question we asked led to another question and another wonder as we longed for the perfect never-ending place that clearly didn’t exist…
YET. Because while we may not see it yet…it DEFINITELY exists!
I’m now some 30+ years older I realize that my dreams of eternity were silly – because eternity is going to be so much better! Now? Now I long for everything I hoped for as a kid and so much more. Why? Because I’ve come to know, and see, that God is much bigger, glorious, and amazing than I could ever fathom. Now I’ve come to realize that we have snippets in this world, in creation, and in me, of what Christ is going to restore when he comes again.
Slurpee corners? Sure
Rolling lush hills with me rolling down them? Absolutely
Swimming with sea-creatures without needing to come up for air? Why not! Because if you cannot die then there is no need to come up for air. Right?
Heaven, eternity, joy, and the TRUE life-to-come is not a dream – they are waiting for us just around the corner. It’s a life that awaits for those who profess Jesus as their Lord and Savior and seek to live their lives for Him. And yet Christ calls us to not just dream and wait for it – we are called to LIVE INTO IT today. As children of God, as bearers of Jesus Christ we are called to not only share His gospel and the Good News but when we pray “your kingdom come your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” we are declaring that we desire God’s eternity to come today and that we are going to do what we can to help usher that in. That while WE personally CANNOT usher in His kingdom we seek to live it here, today.
So here are my questions for you (as I am thinking, and longing for them too):
- How are you living into the “kingdom come” today? How are you helping a broken world begin to reflect the world that will be renewed?
- What dreams do you have that you know await you around the corner in heaven and the New Earth?
P.S. – if there’s no death in heaven will there be bacon? I’m not sure but I sure hope so. Maybe God will show us how to get bacon without having to kill the pig. One can only hope…
Just my 2 cents