The best time to walk is early morning. Just as a new day is born, before the world—and my mind and soul—are cluttered with the day’s traffic and smudged and torn. When the world, for just seconds, seems to hold its breath, wondering at the new day. When all seems fresh, new, unspoiled and almost perfect, and there is so much glory that no camera or brush can convey it.
It’s an illusion, of course. This world—and my mind and soul—are quite smudged and torn.
Any picture we have of “perfection” in this world is far from perfect.
Our souls know that. Like all of creation, which Scripture says groans under the curse put on it because of man’s rebellion against God, we are waiting and looking forward to something, yes, something perfect.
I don’t understand the breadth of that word curse, but I see the results in everything. Horrible evils in this world scream at us and break our hearts. And even in those things in which we take the most joy and satisfaction, we are still aware of imperfection and incompleteness.
Yes, all of God’s creation is quite smudged and torn.
Actually, it’s much more serious than smudged and torn. Romans 8 names it: death and decay.
Nothing in this world escapes death and decay.
We know it. We feel it. And we long for cleansing and healing and wholeness. C.S. Lewis wrote that this was some collective memory and longing for Eden and a perfect relationship with God. I wonder, though, if perhaps it is a longing planted in us by the Spirit when we’re given a new life, living in spiritual realms—a longing that gives us a bit of homesickness and makes us look forward to God’s new heaven and earth.
And in answer to our longing, God’s Word assures us—it’s coming! An entirely new creation, bursting with the freedom of perfection!
A creation, free of every hint of death and decay.
There are many Scriptures that promise this. Some of them are old, old prophecies that came even before Jesus’ time on earth. I’m sure those prophets, as they passed on God’s message to His people, really did wonder how God was going to accomplish all of this. We wonder, too, but I believe we’ve seen some things those prophets had only an inkling of—the power of resurrection, for one thing. And the establishment of God’s new covenant, for another …. but I’m going off on another trail…
The old earth will be destroyed. The new one will be healed, perfect, complete. There are many Scriptures that promise this, but one that speaks great comfort and expectation to me is found in a conversation Jesus had with His disciples. The subject wasn’t really a new creation; they were wondering…just wonderin’, Jesus, what reward will there be for us? We’ve left everything of our old life behind to join up with you…and we’re just wondering…what will we get in return?
Yes, they actually voiced that question to Jesus.
And in His response I find this exciting remark:
“I assure you that when the world is made new and I’m sitting on my glorious throne …” (see Matthew 19:27-30)
That’s not the main point of His answer, but He said it, just as casually as I say, “When I go to Dover tomorrow….”
He said it because it will happen. God has assured us that whatever He plans will come to pass.
This is a hope we hold onto: When Christ sits on His throne, His people will be living on a new earth. (See Revelation 21:1, 5)
I believe Him.
I’m looking forward to the day when the blazing glory of the world around me doesn’t slip away in seconds and is never marred by what we’ve done.
Every morning, the world pauses for a millisecond, poised at the edge of a new day…sometimes, you can feel the expectation…and it wonders, Will this be the day?
I am trusting you, O LORD,
saying, “You are my God!”
My future is in your hands.
Rescue me from those who hunt me down relentlessly.
Let your favor shine on your servant.
In your unfailing love, rescue me.
© Elaine Starner 2015 Photo credits: Thanks to Claire Pridgeon, Paul Stutzman, Lana Turner, and Mary Jane Smith for sharing photography I’ve used on this site. (Click on each name to see more.)