My incredible husband, Rick, is taking me on a special 10-day “destination” trip! He has planned it, made all the reservations, and paid for it. He is doing this because he loves me and wants to spend time with me, especially after we have been apart so much while he has been 24 days out of each of many months working on the opposite coast!
I am to prepare for the trip by shopping for clothing that fits my body (there’s a challenge), is suitable to the climate and lifestyle, but is comfortable. We’ve been to our beloved Maui previously, so I know what I need.
I pack the items that make the trip enjoyable, such as cute jewelry, fun shoes, makeup, and, of course, my camera! But I must not forget the things that make the trip survivable:
My orthopedic pillow, night jaw repositioner, shoe lifts for shorter left leg (since we can’t take my chiropractor with us), and my “pharmacy.”
“Harriet’s Pharmacy”—that’s what my athletic Marine hubby calls what I must carry with me: thyroid pills, sleep aids (because of pain), water pills, antibiotics for bladder infections (just in case), the pain relief pills that turn your pee orange, various homeopathic products for the too frequent painful muscle cramps, dry-eye drops, OTC relief, and CBD oil when fibromyalgia pain is overwhelming, anti-depressant (no explanation needed if you’ve read this far) … and the list goes on. It is extremely discouraging to have to pack all those things just so my physical body won’t ruin our vacation. I’m SO grateful to the Lord for giving me and my care to such a compassionate and understanding husband 36 years ago!
Sadly, this lovely respite will be over in 10 days, and we will have to return to rainy, gloomy, cold Washington State. Oh, how hard it is to rejoin everyday routine; to feel the body complain but get out of bed anyway; to do chores when I’d rather be viewing some of God’s exquisite handiwork in the form of palm trees, Plumeria, and warm blue water with white caps.
Today, however, the Holy Spirit reminded me of all that Jesus has in my future! There will come a day, undoubtedly very soon, when my Savior will whisk me (and the rest of His “Bride”) to meet Him in the air and embark on the promised, never-ending “destination” trip because He loves me and wants to spend eternity with me! And, through the Apostle Paul, God tells us Believers to comfort each other with these facts:
- This fantastic journey will never come to an end! A, B
- Jesus already paid for it…with His life. C
- He made the reservation in my name; all I had to do was believe in Him and accept His invitation. (And so can you, if you haven’t!) C, D
- He has planned all the details. For almost 2,000 years, He has been working on the spectacular place where I will reside. I’ve never been to this place before, but the travel brochure (Bible) tells of its indescribable beauty, indicating it is so great that I can’t even imagine it! E
- I don’t need to provide any special clothing because He has already provided garments for me. F
- My “pharmacy” will be obsolete and left behind because I will have a new body and live where there will be no more death, sorrow, crying or pain—ever! A, G
Take heart as we come to the close of 2020, a year of disappointment, pain, sickness, death, heartache, lawlessness, and uncertainty! Our certainty and hope rest within Hebrews 6:17-19:
“God also bound himself with an oath, so that those who received the promise could be perfectly sure that he would never change his mind. So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary.
- 1 Corinthians 15:50-53 “What I am saying, dear brothers and sisters, is that our physical bodies cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. These dying bodies cannot inherit what will last forever. But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies.”
- Philippians 3:20-21 “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, Who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.”
- 1 Thessalonians 4:13 “And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with Him the believers who have died. We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet Him ahead of those who have died. For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God.
“First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever. So encourage each other with these words.”
- John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
- John 19:30 “So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, ‘It is finished!’ and bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.”
- Romans 10:9, 13 “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
- John 14:2, 3 “There are many rooms in my Father’s home, and I am going to prepare a place for you. If this were not so, I would tell you plainly. When everything is ready, I will come and get you so that you will always be with me where I am.”
- Revelation 21 Verse after verse in chapter 21 describes the size of our eternal home, jewels making up the walls, and God’s light.1 Corinthians 2:9 “However, as it is written: ‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.'”
- Revelation 19:7-8 “Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready. And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.”
- Isaiah 61:10 “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.”
- Romans 8:23 “And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as His adopted children, including the new bodies He has promised us.”
- Rev 21:4 “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
[Harriet has walked with Jesus 61 years, and with her husband, Rick, serves the Lord in their Foursquare church. Written in 2011 with subsequent editing; the Cooks have since left the colder Northwest climate for Rick’s employment in Florida and are enjoying the warmth!]