Sunday, June 9, 2013

Welcome to Paradise!


Don't worry, this post isn't solely about my recent vacation. Instead, this post is about a lesson learned during my vacation...

Dr. R. C. Sproul often tells the story of his wedding day when he and his new bride were stuck at the airport on a cold winter day in Pittsburgh as they awaited their flight to paradise: Bermuda!

In the story, he explains how dreary the weather was at the airport and how they longed to start their honeymoon in the tropical island paradise. He equated this situation with how we Christians live:

So many times we long to stay here in the world (airport) where we think all our needs are met and yet all the while, paradise (eternity with God) awaits us. 

This is oh so true. 

Stuck at the Airport

Well, something similar happened to us only weather wasn't the problem. As we happily boarded our plane to start our long awaited Hawaiian vacation, the captain announced there was a mechanical issue with the plane and we needed to disembark.

You can imagine how disappointed we were. We had planned this vacation for over a year! But we were grateful that the error was found on the ground and not over the Pacific ocean.

As we sat waiting for an update from the crew, we couldn't help but remember Dr. Sproul's object lesson.  Are we, as Christians, truly looking forward to the return of Jesus? Or are we more than happy to be stuck at the airport: Stuck in the world as we know it?

Hey, the airport met all our needs. We had plenty of food, air conditioning,  bathrooms, chairs to sit on, and books to read. So, why not just stay there at the airport for the entire vacation?

Because we both knew that paradise awaited us!


The view from our room...

Although my husband and I had never been to Hawaii, we had heard so much about it from friends and we had seen photographs. It sounded like and looked like paradise to us!

I remember when I was younger and I heard people say that they could hardly wait for Jesus to return. "Oh come quickly!" they would say. I would disagree with them. 

I wanted to marry and have children and have a career and do fun things BEFORE Jesus came. After all that, then Jesus could come and get me and take me to His Paradise. 

What foolish thinking, huh? Basically, I was telling God that I wanted to stay at the airport even though a marvelous vacation paradise awaited me. 

I had heard so much about what awaited me when Christ returns, I had read about it in Scriptures, yet I still wanted to remain in the world because I thought it was much better. 

I couldn't help but think about this way of thinking as we arrived at our hotel room in Maui. 

We made it! Our room was beautiful, the view was spectacular, and the beach was RIGHT THERE! Yes, our final destination was much better than the airport. 

Our 10 hour delayed flight made the arrival to Maui that much better than we could have imagined. 

The greens surrounding us were greener than anything I had seen. The colors of the flowers were intense and rich. The sounds of the waves hitting the shore lulled me to sleep each night. 

And yet all this beauty is marred with sin. 

Can you imagine what God's creation looked like without sin? We stood in the green hills of the Iao Valley pondering that thought. It was more than our feeble minds could handle. 

Iao Valley
On the Road to Hana

God's Rest

The purpose of our vacation was REST. I had just completed my first year teaching middle graders and discovered that the first year is the toughest! Boy was I ready for rest and relaxation.

At the airport...
All our needs were met at the airport...

In Maui...
...but we didn't enter into that REST and relaxation we longed for. 

And that's the promise we have from God. Through Christ, we leave behind this hectic world and enter into His good and perfect peace and rest.

"...So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God,  for whoever has entered God's rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.
Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience." Hebrews 4:8-11 That's what now awaits those in Christ Jesus. 

  • No more striving.
  • No more work.
  • No more bills.
  • No more taxes.
  • No more sorrows...and no more death. 

"And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:3-4

All our needs will be met! His plan is perfect! his banquet table will be plentiful. God will dwell among us. We will see Christ as He is...and we will be like Him!

Why would we desire anything else?

Peace and quiet...

So although the airport did meet our needs, there was NO WAY we were staying there for our vacation. We knew what awaited us!

As Christians, we should feel the same way about this world. Yes, our needs are met, but once we see in Scriptures what paradise awaits us with Christ's return, we should be like John:

"He [Jesus]who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!" Revelation 22:21

Yes, come quickly, Lord Jesus!



  1. What a beautiful post! I especially loved this: "And that's the promise we have from God. Through Christ, we leave behind this hectic world and enter into His good and perfect peace and rest."

    Love it! So glad you had a great vacation. :)

  2. Thank you Melissa! It helps to try and find the lesson the Lord is teaching us when there's a pause in an exciting event. We both wondered why God had delayed our flight. Perhaps this was the lesson He wanted us to learn?

    Thanks for visiting!