Tuesday, July 5, 2016

"A Redeemed Place"

"A Redeemed Place"

     As I write this, I currently sit in the hospital where our third grandchild was born less than an hour ago - a boy, 7lb. 8oz.  He and mom are fine, and we are reminded of the glorious affirmation…

    "Children are a heritage of the Lord, and the fruit of the womb is His reward" (Psalm 127:3).

   Interestingly, I visited this same hospital 46 years ago this month, as a patient.  Playing first base in a baseball tournament, things went well until our shortstop made a bad throw on a routine ground ball.  My reach for the ball put me directly in the path of the oncoming hitter as he raced down the line like a runaway freight train.  I collided with the train, my neck snapped back as I crumpled in a heap, and next thing I knew, I was on the way to this hospital in which I now rejoice (it's a lot bigger now, but somehow seems strangely familiar).   X-rays of my head and neck revealed nothing (as you might expect), and I left with nothing more than a sore neck that healed quickly (the head, however, remains after all these years pretty much empty!).

   I share this with you because it reminds me that our perception of places can significantly change as time goes by.  Until today, mention "Thomas Hospital" and I think of collisions, freight trains (the human kind), crash landings on hard base paths, and a tiny, one story hospital that surprisingly had an X-ray machine.  From now on, however, Thomas Hospital will mainly elicit memories of our new grandson, and the shared experience of our family as he entered the world.  I'd call that a redeemed place in my heart and mind for which I will be forever grateful.

   A lot of sad places exist in this world, scenes of pain, loss, sorrow, sin, and death.  Turn on the news, open a newspaper, or visit websites that report the events of the day, and  the sadness stares us in the face.  We live in a fallen world wherein God is present, but also wherein the ravages of sin and its consequences pervades much of human experience.  "We know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves" (Romans 8:22-23).  Venues of sadness exist in every corner of the globe, places of groaning and travailing.  

    A new and different day approaches, however.  "Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness… I saw a new heaven and a new earth... And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away" (II Peter 3:13; Revelation 21: 1; 4).  You don't need a lot of comment from me about such blessed promise and assurance.  Suffice it to say that the entire earth will one day be a redeemed place, redeemed because the Redeemer Himself will grace all venues and all things with His glorious presence.  I think about such things as I sit here in this place of joy, this redeemed place...

"Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness; to the end that my glory may sing praise to Thee, and not be silent.  O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto Thee forever."
(Psalm 30:11-12)

Weekly Memory Verse
   "Give me understanding, and I shall keep Thy law."
 (Psalm 119:34).


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