Fifteen years ago my husband and I took a memorable trip to Ireland for the week of St. Patrick’s Day. We had planned to meet his dad and sister there in the city of Dublin. His sister was back-packing through Britain, which means she only had a duffel bag and a few Euros to buy train tickets and a night’s stay at a youth hostel. Bed and breakfasts were a bit pricey by comparison.
My husband and I had planned to meet them in Dublin that Sunday. However, bad weather interrupted our plans. Our flight from Los Angeles to a connection in Chicago was delayed by hours due to high winds. By the time we arrived at O’Hare International Airport, our next flight to Dublin was unknown. We were stuck. We were going to have to wait in the airport overnight. What were we to do in an airport terminal with only our carry-on luggage over a long night of waiting? Fortunately, my husband was able to work out a deal with the airline which compensated us to stay at a hotel in Chicago. We would fly out the next morning.
What do we do when our plans are delayed? We know where we are going and the destination is paradise compared to where we’ve been. It seems so unfair to be trapped by circumstances outside of our control. We have nowhere to go and we just want to get to where we’re headed.
This time is a strange and historical moment as our entire nation is on quarantine because of the novel Corona virus named COVID-19. We’re all on lock down mode. Like passengers when our flight is delayed, we’re stuck in the airport with limited supplies, dreaming of our destination. We may be feeling many things: fear, frustration, or even fury as we wait. As a believer in Christ, this causes me to feel the anticipation of coming good because I know that my final destination is not a paradise on earth, but a Kingdom built in eternity.
Christ is preparing a place for everyone who believes in His name, and it is splendid and majestic and hopeful. A place where there is no more disease, no more pain, no more loneliness or fear, only love that wraps everything in the light of God’s glorious grace (see Revelation 21:4).
Believer, we are looking forward to a heavenly destination that is not far off! It is just around the corner if we can endure through the night. Christ is coming soon! So while it feels like we are all trapped in the airport with limited supplies, surrounded by germs and cranky people, we are hopeful of our next destination. Let’s be ready, not by hoarding, but by hiding the very Word of God in our hearts–all His promises are being fulfilled in our sight. Keep holding on to hope, keep persevering, press on with endurance. Weeping may last for the night, but joy comes in the morning! (Psalm 30:5)
Further reading for hope and encouragement: Psalm 27