There is a beauty and richness yet to come, a deep and complex place and existence that we have yet to experience, a joy that we cannot imagine or even comprehend.
My family and I love to explore the outdoors. Whether we are hiking through a mountain pass or riding bikes along a forest trail, part of the enjoyment is what we are able to see along the way. I suppose we could simply drive by most places and look from the comfort and safety of our vehicles, but we choose to see the world up close. It also doesn’t help that most roads aren’t on the scenic route, you oftentimes have to wander off the beaten path to see the beauty of creation. When we are out there exploring, one of our favorite things to do is bring snacks and drinks in the hopes that we will find a place that is especially beautiful where we can sit and talk and take in the sights.
I remember one specific trip we took to a state park in the Texas Hill Country when my son was young. It was an especially clear day and the temperature was perfect, so we decided to take our bikes out and ride as far as we could on the trails. After a grueling uphill climb that seemed to last forever, we were greeted by one of the most spectacular views I’ve ever seen in Texas. We had climbed to the top of hill and from where we were, we could see for miles and miles. My wife and son and I sat, we talked, we snacked. I remember vividly a turn in our conversation. While we were staring at the beauty in front of us, we asked the question, “If Jesus made the world so beautiful right now, how much more beautiful will it be when He returns to redeem ALL of creation? When the mountains we see and the forests we explore and the sights we indulge in are restored back to their full beauty, how much more wonderful will it be then? How can it get more beautiful than this?”
It can, and it will.
In various places scripture explicitly discusses the truths of God’s redemption of the earth. Oftentimes, we also see glimpses and hints of them in places we may not readily expect. Often the signs and wonders that Jesus performed were not just valuable in and of themselves, they typically were pointers to something else, to a future hope or present reality. In John 2, we are brought into the story of Jesus at a wedding feast. As the party carries on and the guests enjoy themselves, their wine is depleted bit by bit until soon they are completely out. Mary realizes this and asks Jesus to help remedy the situation. He does, but He doesn’t just provide them with just any wine, he provides them with the finest and most wonderful wine they have drunk yet. We see this in the exclamation of the master of the feast, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.” Jesus saved the best for last. We see here glimpses and hints of the hope and feast yet to come, the celebration of our King and our Savior yet to happen.
As Christians, we live our lives with a future hope placed firmly in the God who sent His Son to rescue and redeem us. We know from scripture that we can expect a time, seemingly at the end of all things, that will be more glorious and more beautiful than we could ever imagine. A time when we will be made new, a time when we will rejoice and sing together about the lamb of God who was slain and who takes away the sins of the world. A time when we will feast, and all the tastes and smells and textures will be more full and rich and satisfying than we have ever known. A time when we will celebrate King Jesus, and a time when creation itself will no longer groan but will stand firm and fierce in it’s full beauty and majesty as God rightly created it.
Because of Jesus, we live with the hope of a future time when we will rejoice with our King and enjoy all the beauty that He will provide
Our lives are messy, and at times dark and painful; yet we also have moments in our lives where we can enjoy the creation God has set before us.
It’s because of Jesus Christ that in both of these types of moments we can look forward to a time and place even more wonderful than anything we can currently imagine or experience.
It’s at the end, when we expect things to be less-than, that God pulls out all the stops and provides us with the most wonderful thing we can ever imagine – Himself.
It’s because of Him we will have unending joy, unceasing worship, and will finally experience creation in all of its glory.