"Should we get the umbrellas or should we take the truck?"
"Nah…" and we walked on.
The lightening flashed and thunder boomed. Each time it boomed I felt a thrill of excitement run through my body and I couldn't help but feel as energized at the flashes of lightening.
John and I prayed as we walked. We prayed for John's day. We prayed for each of his coworkers. We prayed for each other. We prayed for our kids. We prayed for my day. We prayed for our Pastor Greg and Bonita and their burdens. We prayed for others. Still the lightening flashed and thunder rolled.
I loved it.
John and I walk to his job just about every day. I spend a little time with one of John's coworkers and then I walk with my friend Melissa Green. In the afternoon we walk home, as often as we can.
This morning I didn't spend much time with John's coworker, but hustled home since the storm was getting that much closer, plus I didn't want to be late to walk with Melissa.
Again, each time the thunder rolled over me I felt this amazing sense of thrill and awe with God's created world in which we live.
About three or four blocks from home the rain started slowly dropping around me. When I got home it was much heavier, and gradually got heavier. I finished my prayer time and then went to walk with Melissa. This time, with umbrella in hand.
We walked and talked. There was lightning and thunder but only a little rain. When I left Melissa, it was raining a little harder and I decided I would take the long way home.
There were several people on their way to work, all hurrying to get out of the rain. I know they thought I was absolutely crazy, because I was singing at the top of my voice, completely off key. My umbrella was folded and I took off my hat, letting the rain drench me.
Have you ever walked in the rain during a thunderstorm?
Have you ever stood on a tall hill, feeling the ice wind from the snow-capped mountains miles away?
Have you ever driven through the desert at sunset, the saguaros black against the sky?
Have you ever driven for miles and miles without another car in sight, but the huge clouds overhead racing over and ahead of you?
Have you ever sat by a campfire on a foggy morning in the forest, drinking coffee brewed over a wood fire?
Have you ever driven by a river in the Mojave and smelled the desert flowers in bloom?
Have you ever walked with the idea of finding things you'd never seen before?
Because I have these experiences, I have a deeper appreciation for this world that God has created. It's a beautiful place in spite of its sorrow.
And yet I know this is just a poor snap shot of what heaven is going to be like. Nothing can prepare us for that day that we are with Jesus and see that place He has prepared for us.
But the catch is that we have to acknowledge that we can't make it there on our own. Jesus said that He is the only way, the only truth and the only life and no one gets to the Father except through Him.
If a person says they believe the Bible but also believes that there are "many roads to heaven" they are saying they don't believe Jesus. If a person doesn't believe Jesus on this one point they must throw out the entire Bible. Everything in the Bible points to Jesus as Messiah, Creator of all, King of the Universe and all that is in it. Everything points to Him as the Only Way.
Heaven is a place of unimaginable beauty. Hell is where we go when we refuse Jesus' gift. Eternity is a long time for a person to realize he or she was wrong about Jesus.
Take the gift He offers. He stands ready to give it as soon as we ask.
Then, when we see the beauty of this world, we will know we are destined for a place more beautiful still.