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A Return to Normal?
Until Saturday, July 29th, I spent every day of 2023 in the Sunshine State. It is a rare occurrence for me to not travel by plane for months at a time, and even more rare that I would stay within 200 miles from home for so long. I have been to The Keys, Miami and to visit family, but nothing more than a couple of hours away. On Saturday I realized that, even though I love the beach life and never tire of ample sunshine, I love to travel, including the actual travel part. I mean look at these views. Only a tiny fraction of the people who have ever lived have beheld such glory.1 Plus, I am a huge fan of people watching. I observed less crazy hair and fewer masks, not a single flight attendant was masked, and that was a post-2020 first. I felt like the people on my flights were supremely happy and talkative compared to my last venture. While I was in Michigan, I got to see a slew of family and friends, one of whom told me about a t-shirt that says, “Normal isn’t coming back, but Jesus is!”
It’s true, isn’t it? My little trip looked more like 2019 than any that I’ve taken, but we still ate in an Atlanta airport restaurant that had the stickers on the floor about social distancing. I wish that was the only reminder of how the world lost its collective mind, but there were others. I told a school administrator in summer of 2021 that if and when Covid went away, there would be something else. He was horrified by my statement, but I wasn’t trying to be pessimistic. It’s just that I will never be convinced that we should wait to live. Life isn’t safe. It never has been and it never will be.
But Jesus is coming back. He will usher in safety and security that we’ve never tasted but always longed for. We won’t ever again have a reason to shed a single tear. We won’t have any worries. Death will be no more.
Maybe you are thinking of someone who doesn’t know Jesus, who cannot fathom believing the words on that t-shirt. Can you pray for them right now? That they’ll answer the Savior who stands at the door and knocks?
“And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives its light, and its lamp is the Lamb.” Revelation 21:2
Even the Sunshine State will feel dark and dim in retrospect. What a humorously delightful thought! Come. Lord. Jesus.
Do you long for a return to normal? Do you think you’ve idealized pre-2020 life? Do you think the madness of the last few years has increased your longing for Jesus’ return?
How does it make you feel to consider that we will have no sunshine in heaven? Do you ever contemplate the specific ways we know that heaven will be better than earth? For example, no darkness, a level of light we can’t even imagine that emanates from God Himself, or no tears or sadness or fears of any kind.
As I’ve mentioned before, it is a pet peeve of mine that so many people keep the window shades down on flights, staring at their various devices instead of the incredible landscape below. I booked myself the window seat so that I could ensure that wasn’t happening on my row.