On Monday After Paradise

I just got back from a little slice of paradise.  The funny thing is, even when I go to paradise-on-earth, I am there.

The snapshots were enchanting:  Palm trees.  Flame trees laden with blazing orange blossoms.  Bananas growing in bunches from the tropical paradise behind our second floor balcony.  Sun and surf.  Food so delicious it was beyond description.  Breeze in my face from scooters zipping along beachfronts by moonlight.  A private pool.  Snorkeling in turquoise waters.  A picturesque island town.

But even in this picture postcard setting, I got irritated.  I got tired.  I snapped at my husband.  I wallowed in self-pity, and more.  Even in paradise, I can’t run from me.

So there it is. But the amazing, beautiful news is that the Solution is also wherever I go, and the Answer is free, and only a prayer away.  Oh, how wonderful.

7 Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me.

Psalm 139: 7-10, NKJV

I was given a free trip to the Florida Keys, and it was all it was cracked up to be.  To say I am thankful would be the understatement of a lifetime.  But even on this trip, when my sin nature rose up, I was reminded that basic truths are basic truths, wherever we go.  Here are a few:

  • I was born with a sin nature.
  • It is there wherever I go.
  • There is no human remedy for sin.
  • Jesus was and is and always will be the remedy, thank goodness.
  • Jesus costs nothing and is a prayer away.
  • I have the remedy living in me.
  • When I admit the truth and call on Him, I am free.
  • Freedom feels deliriously good with the wind in your face, in paradise.

And so much more good news, but for starters:

For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.

1 Corinthians 15: 22, NIV

But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord, Jesus Christ…

2 Chronicles 15: 57, NKJV

Thank you, Lord, for too many things to put on a list.  Thank you, sweet parents, for your generous hearts.  Thank you, brothers and sisters, husband and children, for putting up with me.  On this Monday after paradise, I thank you all, from the bottom of my heart.

Just a sample, from the ever-growing 1000 Gift List:

#695 – Sunsets in Key West

#696 – Chicken Foot with my family

#697 – Sloppy Grouper sandwiches

#698 – Talking with interesting street performers

#699 – My brothers & sisters

#700 – Snorkeling for the first time ever

#701 – Knowing Jesus, the freedom-giver (the best gift of all)

holy experience

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3 Responses to On Monday After Paradise

  1. Cousin Tony says:

    I’m happy to hear that the trip was as good as it was supposed to be (often times that doesn’t happen), and love this reflection.

    I am very much enjoying your posts, Cousin Stephanie. They seem to always hit home.

  2. Melissa says:

    oh how i find comfort in psalm 139…i might need to put your “truths” on my wall….and really must try a multitude post…your photographs are amazing!!!! what a blessing of a gift…

  3. Pingback: People Stories: Meet Howard | Daily Walking

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