Thursday, June 09, 2016

Other Things Leave Me, but Heaven's Joy Abides

The Volcano Lodge, Kilauea, Hawaii
Rachelle and I had dinner last Friday night (June 3) at the Volcano House Lodge on top of one of the most active volcanos in the world, Mount Kilauea, Hawaii. Being a history buff, I found it ironic that exactly 150 years earlier, on June 3, 1866, Mark Twain ate dinner at the exact same Volcano Lodge and returned to the mainland to make a living describing the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii) to Americans who knew little to nothing about the place America now calls our 50th state. As an aside, beside the fireplace at the Volcano House is a "Ripley's Believe It Or Not" page from the year 1935. It says that the fire "at the Volcano House has burned without going out for 66 consecutive years," which means that the fire that burned in that fireplace in 1866 when Mark Twain visited had not been allowed to die out for nearly seven consecutive decades.

Mark Twain became the de facto expert on all things Hawaiian. On one particular occasion while speaking to a baseball team in America upon the team's return from the Sandwich Islands, Twain vividly described his personal love for Hawaii. The vivid language he used could very well be a description of  heaven. Contrary to dispensational teaching which says this earth will be consumed in a fireball at the end of a millennial reign of Christ, I take Jesus words' "The meek shall inherit the earth" literally. The prophet Isaiah spoke of "the world without end," and it seems to me that at the Resurrection, the earth - which continues to groan waiting for it's redemption - will find the curse reversed. Nothing could be more enjoyable than exploring the world (and possibly other worlds) with the family of Christ in eons to come.

Contemplate Twain's vivid description of Hawaii and ask yourself if it doesn't cause you to anticipate heaven. We all have purpose in this life, but if our hope in Christ is for this life alone, then we are to be most pitied above all people (I Corinthians 15:19). I believe a daily meditation on heaven will carry all of us through our daily problems on earth.
"No alien land in all the world has any deep strong charm for me but that one, no other land could so longingly and so beseechingly haunt me, sleeping and waking, through half a lifetime, as that one has done. Other things leave me, but it abides; other things change, but it remains the same. For me the balmy airs are always blowing, its summer seas flashing in the sun; the pulsing of its surfbeat is in my ear; I can see its garlanded crags, its leaping cascades, its plumy palms drowsing by the shore, its remote summits floating like islands above the cloud wrack; I can feel the spirit of its wildland solitudes, I can hear the splash of its brooks; in my nostrils still lives the breath of flowers that perished twenty years ago.”


Unknown said...

Wade, so glad you could experience "Hawaii" the way you have. Wendy and I just celebrated 25 years on Maui and of all things got to see the tiny little church outside which the grave of Charles Lindbergh is. No signs, not big presentation, just a very historical figure who loved Maui.

I did not see whether or not you made it to Pearl Harbor. While my military career has had me in Hawaii many times it was a must for me to take Wendy there so two nights were spent on Ford Island...benefits of a military career. It was complete with a walk about "The Mighty Mo" and a boat ride to pay respects on the Arizona.

Blessings to you both!

Rex Ray said...


Ah, yes…Hawaii!

Best snorkeling in my life was at Honaunau Bay. At the time I flew the “Golden Triangle” to Hawaii which added only $50 to my plane fair to Alaska. There I visited my brother where we overturned a canoe full of kids. But that’s another story.

In Hawaii, my cousin loaned their second car and I spent a week swimming from spot to spot around the island. The last day was Honaunau Bay. If I had started there, I’d never left. Could see about a 100 feet, and fish were so tame you could almost touch them.

Now on the subject of “The meek shall inherit the earth” and “nothing could be more enjoyable than exploring the world …with the family of Christ in eons to come”:


“It is written. Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9 KJ)


“In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2 KJ)

My oldest cousin died in China at age 5. Her last words: “Mama, which one is our house?”

Ramesh said...

Hawaii is a land of transience. The surface will change (is changing) due to the prodigious turmoil underneath. BTW when earth ceases it's inner turmoil it will become a cold and dead planet. I am assuming heaven will take place before then. Or a new life given to earth then.

Wade Burleson said...

Wonderful comments Dave, Rex and Ramesh! Rachelle and I enjoyed reading them!

Anonymous said...

Fireplace and fire in June in Hawaii?

Wade Burleson said...

It's cold on top of Kileaua

Anonymous said...

At a time when I was in both a spiritual desert and living in a literal desert made uglier by a drought (yes, deserts get them) God used the state of Arkansas to revive me.

We made the trip there in the fall and the sheer abundant beauty reminded me heaven will be "all this and so much more" as the Spirit ministered to my soul.

Last year we toured Shiloh in the fall. If the literal hell that was Shiloh during the Civil War could be turned by our Father into the slice of peaceful heaven it is today, what He has in store for His children will be superb.

More revival than I can express.


Ramesh said...

Mark Twain's Hawaii | NYT