At times, the pain and evil and sadness and brokenness of this world are so evident and so acute that it seems overwhelming. Can we take news of another tragedy? Is there strength to support those loaded down with grief? Will this insanity ever end? Things are not the way they are supposed to be. And so we cry out, "Come Lord Jesus. Come quickly! Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven."
And for those with eyes to see, there are moments of beauty and heroism and sacrifice and intimacy and near perfection that leaves us breathless and longing for more. We see things that give us hope that sin and death do not have the last word. These are foretastes of the answer to our prayers and the longings of our hearts. These are glimpses of the coming day when Heaven and Earth will be one and the Lord Jesus will set everything to right.
I thought about these foretastes when I read this article of "The Lion Whisperer."
The Scriptures give us so many promises to sink our teeth into: The Prince of Peace will one day usher in His Kingdom of Peace in all its fullness. There will be no more harm or killing, no more tears and longing for something else. Only ever-deepening and ever-increasing joy as we live together on God's green earth exploring God's great universe and enjoying creation, each other, and our Creator just the way things are supposed to be.
Our hope is not to escape this world and live as detatched, disembodied entities. God's design is to spread His blessings wherever there is curse. As the hymnist has put it, Jesus has come to make His blessings flow far as the curse is found...
Reconiliation. Redemption. Renewal. Regeneration. Reinvigoration.
...far as the curse is found...
Restoration. Rescue. Recovery. Release. Rejuvenation.
...far as, far as the curse is found....
Replenishment. Rekindling. Repair. Replinishment. Rebirth.
And it all begins with the announcement of the Gospel of the Kingdom: the Lord of Creation took on flesh and lived the life that we should have lived, and died the death we brought upon this world, and He is now risen! Death could not hold Him!
When the Lord Jesus announced that the Kingdom was at hand at the beginning of His ministry, He was saying that "I have come to heal the world." Reconciliation and the forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed to every creature under heaven. The announcement of Good News is to be taken to every corner of this world. And this same Good News tells us that the Return of the King will usher in the full healing of this sin-cursed creation. The wine will flow fully, the healing of the nations will occur, and the increase of His reign and our joy will know no end.
And that is the way things are supposed to be.
Addendum: Heather--ever the animal & especially the feline lover--says that she wants a white tiger in the New Heavens & Earth. "They're just big kitties," she insists. "And I want one to bury my face in its fur."