Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Vacation in Paradise

Recently, Todd, the boys and I headed to Walt Disney World for some fun, sun, and celebration of 19 years of marriage! A great time was had by all, and we were richly blessed with the opportunity to spend time together as a family.

"This place is paradise!
You get to buy toys, go to parks,
and even eat with Mickey!"

These are the words my seven year old son, Joseph, exclaimed with regard to Disney World. Ahh, it's the little things in life isn't it!?!? As a child, I longed to go to Disney World and Disneyland.  I mean, for goodness sake, these parks are billed as the most "magical and happiest" places on earth - modern day lands of "milk and honey"... paradise here on earth.  I am grateful I've had the opportunity to visit - the Disney parks are indeed amazing, magical, romantic, and breathtaking!

One morning during our  trip, we had the pleasure of meeting Minnie Mouse (I just love her). She smooched on the boys, posed for photos, and kindly signed their autograph books. It was definitely a memorable experience. I couldn't help but laugh hysterically when my ten year old son, Jack, jokingly shared his recollection of said smooching (I love this kid) though:

"Minnie is a no good, kissing she-devil."

A devil in "paradise"? Say it ain't so!

We had a fantastic time visiting Disney World. Isn't it such a blessing to live in a world chock full of beautiful, stunning, breathtaking paradise destinations for us to enjoy? As amazing as these places are though, I can only imagine how each and every one must pale in comparison to our heavenly paradise. Even at the most happiest and magical places on earth, there are still imperfections, or "devils in paradise" if you will. During our vacation, my kids still argued with one another. We were all tired, cranky, and inpatient at times. One of our hotel elevators was out of service on a near daily basis. Our food order was messed up during one of our meals. Joseph fell, cried, and bruised his leg on a curb. My husband still snored while he slept (happy 19th anniversary dear!). We met a woman whose ankle was crushed by a motorized wheelchair in one of the parks. Another family had to leave paradise for an urgent surgery. We had a great time. Really, we did. I tell you these things to drive home a point though.

No paradise on earth is perfect. But, our heavenly paradise is!

In Revelation 21, John tells us of our heavenly paradise - a perfect place with pearly gates and streets of gold...a place of no sickness, no sorrow and no tears...a place bountiful with food and beautiful singing...a place in which it never gets dark, and never closes...a place...with no devils! Heck, I don’t even think they have rodents there! And, instead of dining with Mickey, you get to dine with Jesus! Even better yet – once you arrive in your heavenly destination, you never have to leave!

 How’s that for a vacation in paradise?!

Most gracious Lord, I thank You for blessing my family with the opportunity to spend time together and make wonderful memories. I rejoice and give You glory for the beauty and wonder of Your magnificent creation – for the paradises You formed and placed here on earth for us to enjoy. There is none like You, Lord, Almighty Creator. Thank You for the promise of eternal life in our heavenly paradise. I look forward to the day I can see Your face and sing Your praises on the streets of gold! Lord, please grant us wisdom, words, and love to share Your promise with others – that they too may delight in paradise with You someday.

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