Today is the last day of my Arizona vacation. It has been wonderful to spend time outdoors enjoying the Spring-like weather. The color has been amazing with vibrant sunsets over rainbow mountains that put on a kaleidoscope display that changes with every hour of the day. Flowers are blooming with palm trees and Saguaro Cactus blending together naturally, despite their diversity. The scrubs and cactus provide a home for the many different kind of birds that spend their winters here. I’m really not ready to go home and I can’t help to dream about how nice it would be to retire here. I wonder if retirement is in God’s plan for me.
I’m not anxious to go home to the colder temperatures and the pervading winter gray that settles over everything in the part of the country I call home. I don’t want to go back to the telephone ringing constantly as the demands of work, family, and community press in and snap me back to reality. I’m very relaxed now but I know it won’t be long before stress and tension replace the warm glow that my vacation has given me. Again, I think about retirement and wonder if it really could be as nice as I dream it could be. I’m sure the reality of retirement is much different from vacation and even the beauty that I’m enjoying now, here in Arizona, would become common place to me, in the drudgery that is day-to-day life. That’s the way we human beings are, quickly dissatisfied even when things are good. Still, I would like to find out for sure and maybe with the wisdom of old age, I would be mindful to appreciate things more and be content.
When I think about retirement, I also think about what God has planned for me when my work on earth is done. The eternal state is something I marvel at and try to comprehend. Eternity has no beginning and no end like God, it simply is and isn’t subject to time. There will be no death, as death is the governor of time. There won’t be any pain, disease, or the corruption of old age. All that comes from death will be destroyed in the Lake of Fire on the day that death dies. There won’t be any conflict either. No war, no murder, and no strife. Christian brothers and sisters will no longer be divided by denomination and there will be no theological debate or misunderstanding. We will be like Jesus and God’s laws will be written on our hearts and their will be no confusion as Christians who differ on theology will be fully united in Christ. There will be no religion. There will be nothing to kill or die for. All hatred will be forgotten and replaced with God’s eternal peace and love. Righteousness and justice will remain and shine like the sun. All lies, deception, with unrighteous judgement, will be forgotten along with those who lived and made themselves rich by them. There will be no prejudice and all persons will be equal before God. The needs of orphans and widows will be filled and poverty a forgotten concept, as that which belonged to Caesar is buried along with the need for a human king. God will be with His people and will light their paths and warm them as the sun that will no longer be needed. All who suffered in this present world will rejoice for all eternity and continually, give God praise.
Life in this world is very hard at times. Vacations are a blessing and I’m thankful for the time I’ve had to relax and enjoy the beauty of God’s creation. Someday, my husband and I may even be able to retire, if things go just right. I’m thankful though, that this life isn’t all there is and in Jesus my future retirement is certain. Every day, I can enjoy the eternal life that I have in Him as I look forward to the day when all that is temporal passes. Just as my vacation gives me a taste of what retirement might be, my daily walk with Jesus is a preview of my eternity. The eternal state is more than my mind can comprehend but my heart fills with joy at the thought of what God has planned for His saints, when our work here is done.