For the past five years my family has served as missionaries in the Philippines. We are now in the process of, once again, moving back to our home country. It reminds me of how, when we first moved here, my brother and I were a little bit nervous. I thought my parents said we were moving to the land of the Philistines. You can imagine my relief when I learned we were actually moving to the Philippines instead!
After a few days we learned that we had an added blessing—we lived under a mango tree.
When we arrived, it was better than we had imagined. Well, at least that was until we moved into our new home and heard these big thuds on the roof. After a few days we learned that we had an added blessing—we lived under a mango tree. Sometimes when we live in a new place it can be a bit nerve-racking, but in the end, we discovered that everything was far better than we had imagined it would be. We made new friends and have truly come to love the people here.
Of course when we moved, we brought some of our things. Some of those things didn’t last very long. The high humidity meant that we had to buy dehumidifiers so that our books and other valuables did not get ruined. Now that we are leaving, we decided it was better to sell some of our things rather than take them back. It will be nice to have a new bed because the old one is getting rusty and worn out. I think everyone likes to have brand-new things.
No matter how hard we try, nothing in this world is going to last. Jesus spoke about this when He warned, “ ‘Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal’ ” (Matt. 6:19, NIV). Even our physical bodies will not last. Eventually all of us are going to die because we live in a world dominated by sin. What I love about the lesson this week is that we are reminded of the promises of Scripture that there will be no more sin. Death will cease to exist. Best of all, we will get to be with our forever Friend, Jesus, through all eternity. This week is an opportunity to imagine how glorious heaven is going to be—it is a whole new world. It is better than moving to another country. In the words of the hymn: “The things of earth will grow strangely dim / In the light of His glory and grace.”1