Sunday, August 28, 2016

Hawaii & Heaven

© The SoCal Gal
Tomorrow I'm going to the lovely Hawaiian island, Maui. I can't even describe how I feel about it because we literally booked the flight two weeks ago and it still hasn't hit me. As we've prepared and discussed the trip, I thought of how similar the process is to heaven. The closer we get to the date, the more anticipation and excitement is built for our vacay. While I am stoked to go to Hawaii for the first time, I admit that I'm a bit terrified at the same time, because I'm scared of flying over the ocean. The more I think about it, the more antsy I get. That being said, I have been trying to push it in the back of my head and focus on what happens after that. I don't know why it scares me so much, because I've been on a plane probably fifty times. I guess the big, blanketing, swallowing body of water just has a bad effect on me. Now, what in the world does this have to do with heaven?

Everybody wants to go to heaven. I mean, who wouldn't? It's the place of pure bliss and no "bad things." We've heard stories of how amazing it is from the Bible and how perfect and happy it is there. At a concert last year, my eye caught on a book by David Crowder entitled, "Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven, But Nobody Wants To Die." Soooo true. To get to the good stuff, a lot of times you gotta go through something hard, something even painful. To get to Hawaii you have to fly over the ocean. To stand up on a surfboard you have to fall first. To get to heaven you (most likely) have to die. James 1:12 says,
"Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him."
Now, I know that, compared to other things, flying over the ocean isn't much of a trial. Sure, you have to trust that the pilot is doing his or her job. Different people have different fears. My fear is flying over the ocean. I know that it's absolutely necessary to get to Hawaii. (Although, it would be cool to zipline all the way. :) Just kidding.) I'm sure by the time I'm off of the plane, I'll be like, "Whew! That was hard, but I am sooo glad I went on that plane over the ocean."

What is your flight over the ocean? Maybe it's speaking in front of everyone in class. Maybe it's doing chores. Whatever it is, don't hide from it. Instead, think of the good things coming from it and trust in the Lord. Sometimes, it's necessary for tough situations to happen before the good blossoms. After the (scary) flight over the ocean, an island of paradise awaits me and my family. After a believer passes away, He wakes up in heaven. What does the Bible have to say about this? Romans 5:3-4 says,
"We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character."
Another great example of something good that appears after troubles. In this verse it says we can "rejoice in our sufferings," because out of that seemingly bad thing, endurance and character are produced. So...the next time you are caught up in a hard situation, think of the good coming out of it, and be encouraged that "this too shall pass."
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