Are We There Yet?

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Sometimes, after a day full of research and phone calls and replying to emails and teaching and responding to texts and working and studying and reading and wondering how on earth I got into guns and shooting, and wondering again how on earth I got into politics; and then researching and writing and working some more and trying to ignore the cold that’s been attacking me…….yeah, on days like today……. I take a deep breath and 15 grams of vitamin C and my Bible and notebook and sit out on the swinging bench. And sit. And look. And think.

 
Bible in lap

I flipped it open and fingered my way toward Revelation. Chapter 22.

And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb.

In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him.

They shall see His face….”

And that’s when I couldn’t hold it in any longer. “Are we THERE yet?” “When will we be There?” Because that is the ultimate There. And it sounded so amazing that I wanted so badly to be There already.

 

painted desert - Bullet

 
I recently went on a fantastic extended road trip with a fun family of great kids, and, as you might imagine, we heard that question a few times. “Are we theeeeerrre yet?” And sometimes, when we were still a thousand miles away from the nebulous “There,” I would say, “No, but we’re HERE!”

That’s what I told myself tonight: No, I’m not There yet — I’m not living free from the curse. I still haven’t found those leaves for the healing of the nations. And I am not physically viewing and adoring the face of God.

But I’m Here.

And as I sat in that moment of Here, watching the glowing sky throw itself along the hillside till the fields gleamed golden, I suddenly had a great longing – a wish that I had more capacity to love. to feel. to embrace my Here. to live full and free and strong and in constant exuberant delight. to extract all the fiery joy from every nanosecond that none of it might be wasted. But mostly – to love fervently and with every fiber of my being everything about Right Now.

 

sunset

 
The purple cloud fading behind the old farmhouse on the hill. The chimes from my Graceful friend softly singing behind me. The gentle creak of the swaying porch swing.

I want to love it! to seize it, to take it, to savor it, to absolutely love every bit of it!

And the next Here I come to? Maybe paperwork. Maybe housework. Maybe just plain ol’ work. Whatever it is, I want to love it just as much as that brilliant sunset, just as much as this pleasant summer evening on a country porch.

Why love it? Because my Here, my Right Now, is a gift from a Father who only gives good things. The Father who has promised me an unimaginably joyful Later – beholding His face in the curseless ultimate There. And so I take the gift of Here from His hand and I love it, simply because it is from Him. Really, it is not so much loving the gift, but loving Him, rejoicing in Him as the giver of what He has deemed good for me Here.

Not that I must forget about There. For it is, in fact, the faith in His promise of There that gives me reason to love the Here. Yes, I can live Here with zest and joy and delight because of the calm assurance that one day, quite soon enough, I will be There.

My heart can sing when I pause to remember, 
A heartache here is but a stepping stone.
Along the trail that’s winding always upward, 
This troubled world is not my final home.

But until then my heart will go on singing, 
Until then with joy I’ll carry on.
Until the day my eyes behold the city,
Until the day God calls me home.

 

BulletUntil then,

Bullet

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