“In my Father’s house are many rooms…” (John 14:2a)
For almost two hours our team bumped along in a van with little or no shock absorbers. The dark Zambian sky obscured the roadway ahead creating aerie shadows in the desolate countryside. Our bodies rattled and rolled on thin, worn-out seats as we drove along the unpaved road; the noise from the underbelly of the van banging against the pebbles squelched all conversation. We knew the exact address of our destination, had perfectly pinpointed the Chaminuka lodge on our GPS earlier in the trip, but without a visible signpost anywhere it was impossible to determine if we had inadvertently chosen a wrong turn.
Then suddenly, when some of us had serious doubts about ever arriving at the preserve, twinkling lights appeared. We were ecstatic! Lights meant hope. The metal gate opened, the smooth driveway appeared, and we came upon an astonishing sight. Before our weary eyes stood a magnificent lodge surrounded by manicured lawns dotted with imposing sculptures and illuminated trees. We tumbled out of the van, smoothed out our crumpled selves, and staggered up the brick staircase. With delightful surprise we emerged into a dining room decorated in a tasteful safari motif where the hospitality team served us warm, creamy soup, hot crusty bread, and an array of other delicacies. The adjoining sunken living room had leather couches encircling a roaring log fire.
After a round of hot showers and a night in soft, clean beds we felt invincible. And then this thought came to mind. The dramatic contrast between our harrowing journey and the remarkable location we now found ourselves in seemed like a storyline we had heard before. Weren’t our days on earth similar to the difficult drive we had just endured, complete with rugged bumps, scary unknowns, and an ending timeframe beyond our control? And wasn’t the picture of heaven that God reveals in his Word much like emerging into that brightly lit dwelling with delightful surprises and warm welcomes at every turn? Just up ahead, around the bend in the curve, right past that murky place, when the shadow lands are all in the rear view mirror, we will arrive at the doorway of heaven. When we finally make our way into our Father’s home we are sure to discover delights beyond our wildest imagination, forevermore.
For now we travel down the bumpy road with the anticipation of lights and rest from the journey further down the way.
Elizabeth A. Mitchell