And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” (Revelation 21:5 NASB)
International agencies often lend a hand to one another. Think about it. We are all working toward the same goal. As a global body we demonstrate to the world our unity when they see one agency working hand in hand with another. Because of this interaction of expertise, I had the chance to visit some interesting sites. Whether I was the best choice is always debatable but I enjoyed the travel and new places.
One year a fellow colleague and I spent several days on the island of Chuk. For history buffs it used to be called Truck, even though there were only a few roads and more horse carts than semis. There we helped diagnose and repair the transmitter for a local radio station. We stayed with coworkers on the island. It was great to meet folks from another part of the world with the same type of work. As a result of getting to know one another my colleague invited a certain young lady to spend a few days on Guam.
My colleague was a man; I’ll call him Fred. Fred’s visitor was a woman; I’ll call her Sue. As a single Fred couldn’t have Sue staying in his home so my wife and I offered our home. Fred picked Sue up at the airport, showed here the sites of the island and arrived at our home thirty minutes later. It’s a small island, there’s not much to see.
As a nursing student from Yap Sue was excited to visit another island. She was delightful and fascinated by everything she saw. Growing up on the tiny island of Yap she had no idea of the culture and convenience of our large modern island.
We talked, got to know one another better and enjoyed our first meal together. After dinner our children loaded the dish washer. That’s why we have children, to load the dishwasher. Sue had never seen a dishwasher. The intricate frames for holding the dishes, the soap, the noises it made while working amazed her. She was sad there wasn’t a window in the front so she could watch and see what was happening inside.
Our refrigerator was another unique experience. They have refrigerators on Yap but they operate by propane. The power company doesn’t extend to the smaller villages. These gas powered coolers were run only two or three days a year for special events. Regular cold drinks, ice cream, and leftovers were the exception, not the rule.
Everything Sue saw and experienced was a new enchantment. Everything was exhilarating and eye-opening. It was as if she stepped into the present from another time. She took nothing for granted. Each new machine, each new taste, garnered her intense scrutiny. Like a little child discovering the world she discovered a world new to her. She laughed, smiled and enjoyed life.
When I was first saved I was like Sue. Everything fascinated me and received my full attention. I wanted to know God more and more each day. Each verse I read opened a new revelation making me laugh, smile and enjoy life. What happened?
It took me a while but I finally figured it out. I had begun to take things for granted. God was loving, gracious, forgiving, and caring but that became the norm, expected. The excitement was gone. My heart and mind began to harden like an artifact buried for centuries. You could recognize it, understand its function, but it didn’t live.
But, once God’s word, through the encouragement of family and close friends, caught my attention once more, the petrifaction of my soul began to soften. Life slowly returned and the vastness of God’s grace once more opened my eyes to the wonder of it all. There was still a long way to go before I could regain the awe of those first days as a believer. Many hard spots needed to be chiseled away but the pain and difficulty were worth it to draw closer to God.
What do we take for granted today? Our family? Our wife? Our ministry? Maybe God? Too much familiarity often makes us forget the awe of God’s work in our life. Paul reminds us we are a new creation. We need to renew our view of the miraculous.
God took us as sinners and through faith alone made us his children for eternity. Eternity where? Eternity in a new heaven and a new earth. A new Jerusalem where we can walk in God’s presence and discover all things new, day by day, not in another time, but for all time.