Right now, living in countries like New Zealand sounds like a sort of paradise to the rest of the world.
Some island nations have been able to beat back the novel coronavirus to the point where life is almost back to normal.
People in those countries can once again attend concerts, go out to restaurants or to church, return to their workplaces, and hug their friends and family.
They can pretty much go about their pre-pandemic lives.
For those of us living in countries still battling second or third waves of COVID-19, life in places like New Zealand seems like a dream.
We hope that one day maybe life will be like that for us, too: we long for a world where there are no more restrictions, suffering or death due to COVID-19.
In essence, we all yearn for a release from “bondage,” don’t we?
But even when we’ve been able to put the novel coronavirus in the rear-view mirror, this ache for freedom won’t quite go away.
Because the world will still be in bondage to sin and suffering. We’ll still yearn for paradise, the way we know life could be, but isn’t yet.
Even when COVID-19 is behind us, we’ll still be living lives “locked down” by sin and the misery that results from it.
Scripture tells us that even nature is living in bondage during this present age. The sin that entered the world after the Fall doesn’t just oppress humans, it makes the Creation suffer as well.
“Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse.” (Romans 8:20)
“For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.” (Romans 8:22)
Even nature seems to know that the world as it is now isn’t the way it was meant to be. It seems to long to return to the perfection of its pre-Fall state, Eden.
But will we ever taste paradise again?
Yes! But when?
Creation’s liberation from its bondage to decay is linked to our own freedom. Nature seems to know that, and it can’t wait.
“For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are.” (Romans 8:19)
“But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay.” (Romans 8:21)
If nature is fervently waiting for its redemption, how much more we humans are:
“And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us.” (Romans 8:23)
There’s a paradise in our future after all. Not a new Eden, but a new Heaven and a new Earth.
“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying: “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man, and He will dwell with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them as their God. ‘He will wipe away every tear from their eyes,’ and there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the former things have passed away.” (Rev. 21:3-4)
One day, believers won’t have to put up with the trials and tribulations of this present world anymore. There will be no more war, heartache, tragedy or suffering. All things will be restored, and righteousness will prevail.
It will be paradise indeed.
So as we yearn for life the way it used to be, with no more social distancing or wearing masks, remember that it still won’t be the way life was meant to be.
But that Day is coming, and it sounds like paradise to me!
© 2021 Lori J. Cartmell. All rights reserved.