Recently I overheard Isaiah say dolefully, “I don’t have any friends to play with in Florida.” Isaiah has always been gregarious and the weight of his words lay heavy upon my heart. Uprooting my family from the normalcy of life at home has been one of the more difficult aspects of deputation. The instability that life on the road brings makes the bonds of family all that more important. To ensure this family connection is strong and healthy we take great care in spending quality time together. Of course to build a family bond does not require anything extravagant. Besides our regular family devotion we enjoy such simple things as walks together, playing games and watching videos. The upside of deputation is experiencing things together as a family we might otherwise not have the opportunity to do. My hope is that these special experiences will make deputation a little easier for Isaiah to bear and be happy memories that we can look back on as a family.
Thanks to the generosity and sacrifice of Victory Baptist Temple in Elyria, Ohio, we were recently able to experience Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. As part of their mission conference last October VBT had Christmas for the missionaries. Each missionary was taken to a separate part of the church which was decorated by a team assigned to a specific missionary family. They had sold pizzas in order to raise the funds to purchase gifts for our entire family. The effort they made to make our family feel loved and appreciated was humbling. One of the gifts they presented to us was tickets to Disney World.
Two weeks ago while in Florida we were able to spend a day at Disney World. Magic Kingdom theme park is designed like a wheel with the hub in front of Cinderella Castle; pathways spoke out from this hub into seven fairy tale lands. We began the day with one of the most well-known of Disney rides Pirates of the Caribbean, Isaiah then rode his first roller coaster Big Thunder Mountain, he then opted for something a little more tame as he and Sandy rode Dumbo the Flying Elephant, his favorite ride was driving a race car at Tomorrowland Speedway, the last ride of the night was a bird’s eye view of the park high atop the Astro Orbiter. Pearl sat patiently in her stroller by mamma most of the day watching all the people go by. We had a great time together and we will cherish the memories we made.
Magic Kingdom is advertised as a world of fantasy and adventure that allows you to step through the turnstiles to enter a storybook filled with Disney characters and enchantment. It is one of the top vacation destinations for people all over the world. As we waited in line after line and walked among the masses of humanity I couldn’t help but think of the day when nations the world over will travel to Jerusalem to a kingdom not based on make-believe and a mouse but one foretold of in scripture and ruled by the Lion of the Tribe of Judah.
Many Christians assume the Bible’s theme is John 3:16. In reality, the theme of scripture is the Kingdom. From a human standpoint the most wonderful event in history is the day Jesus Christ suffered, bled and died for our sins. From the standpoint of God the Father, the thing He is most interested in is not the day that His Son came to earth to be mocked, spit upon, cursed, and killed by sinful men. The great day on God the Father’s “calendar” is the day that His Son comes back to this earth as KING OF KINGS to take over and posses what rightfully belongs to Him. You know this is true because there are five times as many verses in the Bible concerning the Second Advent of Christ reigning as King from a literal, physical, visible throne in Jerusalem than there are about the First Advent and His suffering on the cross at Calvary. Therefore, the greatest event referred to in the scriptures is the “day of the LORD” when the “kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever” (Rev. 11:15). This won’t be a magic kingdom but it will be a miraculous one.
“And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” Isaiah 2:2-4