My hometown of Jacksonville was in the news recently and it wasn’t for a very good reason.
For weeks, public outdoor spaces in Florida had been closed. And if you made your way into one of these spaces, you’d be facing a citation, fine, or even arrest. People who had lived their whole lives in the Sunshine State had to spend an indefinite amount of time away from what makes this state great.
But last week, Florida’s governor Ron DeSantis gave towns and cities the go-ahead to reopen beaches, allowing time throughout the day to get outside and forget about the lockdown if even for an hour or two.
And it went about as you’d expect.
Thousands of people showed up within minutes of the announcement. After weeks of limiting social interaction, these people were craving the outdoors. The sunlight, the wind, the waves, the sounds, the smells…
It made me think about heaven.
Our lives here are a shadow of what they will be with Jesus in heaven, much like how quarantine is a terrible substitute for lives with friends and restaurants and beaches. We’re currently on lockdown in our homes catching glimpses of the outside world and imagining what it will be like when this is all over — at the same time we long to be with Jesus forever in a place that will feel, look, smell, and be infinitely better.
The quarantines and lockdowns are temporary. We don’t know how temporary but we have a good amount of faith in a possible vaccine and life returning to normal. We hold onto memories of spending time with friends, walking in the park, and eating at our favorite restaurants while we’re stuck indoors waiting for the day we can go back out.
This life is just a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.
This quarantine is just a season of our lives and then it will be a distant memory.
We are waiting out this lockdown and hoping to go outside like we are waiting out Jesus’ return and hoping to go be with Him forever and ever.
What does Jesus still have to teach us in such a weird, chaotic, upside down time such as this?
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