Submitted by one of our teens in the month of April                                                          Orena Sutherland




Wish You Were Here!
Taking a vacation away from the hectic pace and pressures of daily life is precious indeed.  When you are enjoying such a relaxing time away from home and work, you might stop by a gift shop and see the postcard rack with a number of images that capture the fun and enjoyment you are having, and your friends back home aren’t.  Across the front are printed the words, “Wish you were here!” Not that you are serious about your friends or other family members joining you on your vacation, but the card is meant to rub it in that you are enjoying a great vacation while others are going on with the grind of life.

Can you imagine if God sent you a message from heaven which said, “Wish you were here?” but really was just “rubbing it in” that you had to still endure a world filled with hardship, tragedy and suffering.  Quite the opposite!  As Jesus prayed, he said, “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am.”  Jesus has a heartfelt desire for you.  He absolutely wants you to join him in heaven.  Yet he doesn’t just wish it, but also provided the means to get there.  He sends you an “all expense paid ticket” which he personally paid for with his perfect life, his suffering and death, and glorious resurrection.  There’s nothing more that you have to do or pay to get it; it’s a free gift by faith in him.

When life gets challenging, we oftentimes think of our favorite vacation spot and “wish we were there.”  Today Jesus is inviting you, in the midst of whatever life brings you, to look forward to the eternity in heaven he has paid for you to enjoy.  Through him don’t just wish you were there, but definitely look forward to actually being there!

Who is Jesus? Is he some great miracle worker whom you call on when you’re in a pinch? Is he the man in the picture on the wall holding children on his lap? Is his cross just a nice piece of jewelry around your neck? If so, then he’s not what you think. He came as the perfectly humble and obedient Son of God – perfectly willing to fulfill his Father’s will, even though it cost him his life.

Sin, Satan, and death were our enemies. We were in a losing battle, but the warrior has come and by his perfect life and holy death he broke the bow and ended the battle once for all – for you, for me. He’s not what we may have expected – he’s better! In fact he’s everything we need in life. Forgiveness of sins is ours. Peace is ours. Joy is ours. Contentment is ours. The sure hope of heaven is ours – all through faith in Jesus.