3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
6 He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. 7 Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.
The week of July 4 is upon us and for many of us, that means time spent with family and friends. But in my mind, it also conjures up images of summer vacations from long ago. Years before anyone ever even thought of the cell phone, before TVs and DVD players were common in family vehicles, my family would pack our bags, and cram ourselves into our old green Pontiac. We didn’t have much money growing up, so going on vacation was a rarity and didn’t happen until mom and dad would save several years to pay for one. Of the few places we were able to afford to go, we would head toward Gatlinburg, TN. With a car full of luggage and a family of four, this was, at best, an 8-hour drive. That, of course, was assuming we didn’t make a wrong turn and go 100 miles out of the way since GPS didn’t even exist. (And yes, we did actually go 100 miles in the wrong direction one time that I remember). 🙂 As my older sister and I were a good 30 or 40 minutes into the trip, we had already run out of ways to entertain ourselves, and so we decided it would be a great time to bug the daylights out of our parents by asking, “Are we there yet?” in unison for the next three hours of the trip until we wore ourselves out. Well, likely it was a constant and consistent question for the next three hours. After that, it was probably the entire rest of the trip. . .if not constant, at least periodically. 🙂 My mother, who will likely be anointed someday as a saint for putting up with me through my childhood, would calmly look back at us and respond, “We’ll be there soon.”
I don’t know about you, but last week was an extremely difficult week. Those that know me understand I have had tough weeks before, but this wasn’t just a tough week. . .it was a drastically difficult week. It was one of those weeks that tries its best to push you to your breaking point. You know that if one more thing hits home, you’re just going to hit the floor crying. And, I know most men won’t admit to that, but we have all been there. I wanted to fall to my knees and scream at the top of my lungs, “GOD, ARE WE THERE YET?” Ever have those days you just can’t take any more? The moments that your spouse or your closest friends just have to pick you up off of the floor because you just don’t have the strength to do it yourself? I was fortunate enough to read today’s passage during my Bible reading this week, and I was reminded. . .we are not there yet. But, we will be. . .some day.
God was cognizant of the fact that we are all sinners. We will all fall, we will all fail, and we will all have rough weeks. Sometimes we cry, sometimes others will hurt us, and sometimes we reach our breaking point. There is no doubt in my mind that we have all been there. What do you do in these times? For me, I talk to my wife about it and I often text or phone one of my closest friends, and try to get back up off of the ground. I have certain friends in my life who bring me joy every time I see them, and so I surround myself with friends who make my heart happy. But, the cuts and the scrapes often go deeper than any human can fix. While the calming advice of a trusted friend and the warm, soothing smile of one of your best friends, or the gentle touch of your spouse may help put a band-aid on the wound; only God is able to heal it.
I am thankful that God knows our hearts, and while He knows we have faith, He also knows He needs to remind us of hope and where we will go. In Revelation, God reveals Himself. Upon His revealing, He reminds us that we will live together in perfect peace and live with Him. There will be no more death, no more crying, no more pain. The days of falling to the floor thinking you cannot take any more will be forever vanished. I love how God reminds us that one day this will happen and then (and only then) will it “be done.” He reminds us that He was there in the beginning and He will be there in the end. . .”the Alpha and the Omega.” He gives us hope that he will never leave our side, he is everlasting, and we will eventually arrive at our destination. . .living with God. That sounds more than awesome to me!
This week, if someone hurts you, if someone causes you to cry, if things just don’t go your way. . .if everything seems to be falling apart; if you find yourself falling to the floor shouting, “GOD, ARE WE THERE YET?”. . .sit back and think about the words our Father would tell you. Just like my mother used to say, “We will be there soon.” Look beyond the sinful things of this world this week, look beyond the hurt, look beyond how others tear you down. Instead, look to our Father in Heaven as he gently reminds us, “We will be there soon, child. We will be there soon.”