OUT OF PLACE

We hear of places on the globe that cause us to think to ourselves, “There is something I would love to see if opportunity ever affords itself.”  They call it “A once-in-a-lifetime adventure”, and we were a part of it.  We traveled to the Kilauea Volcano on the big island of Hawaii.  We stood gazing, perhaps even gaping at this monstrous chasm in the earth.  At least, we were not alone.

They call it “The hottest show on Earth”.  For the past twenty years, this volcano has continued to erupt.  We not only saw it here, but also saw it later in the night hours, as the glowing lava flowed into the ocean.  With the convergence of the lava and ocean water, huge steam plumes formed.  It was a picture that was imbedded in the brain for years to come.

As we circled the crater, we arrived at a point where we could walk out to the edge.  We took the opportunity to walk through areas where smoke was rising from fissures in the earth’s crust.  One could not help but be aware of the stench of sulfur that filled the air.  Finally, standing at a secure position and endeavoring to hold the camera steady in the wind, I observed the “hottest show on Earth”.  Everything was magnificent to observe and was, more or less, exactly what we anticipated.

A moment later, my thoughts are interrupted.  Was that bird what I thought it to be?  Sure enough, it is a “Long Tail”.  In Bermuda, these beautiful birds arrive from the Sargasso Sea in March each year and stay until their young are able to return with them.  These ‘phaeton lepturus’ make a home on the ocean and utilizes the ocean cliffs for reproductive purposes.  But, here they were utilizing the cliffs of this active volcano.  I had heard that we might find them on the ocean cliffs of Mexico, but in Hawaii was more than a surprise; it was bewildering.  I have not figured it out completely yet… finding these birds in a volcano.  Why in the world would they feel comfortable there?

Every time I read Ephesians, chapter 1 and see how God “chose, predestined, redeemed, forgave, bestowed, adopted, inherited,” and made of us “saints”, I marvel.  Repeatedly, this chapter talks about our inheritance in Christ.  Verse 14 says: “who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.”  Later, in verse 23, it says, “Which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.”  How in the world can we who are saints and headed for Heaven feel comfortable in this old world so filled with sin?  I have to believe that we are as out of place as those Long Tails on the cliffs of Kilauea.  Necessity might keep us here, but we should be longing for a better place called Heaven!

It is a foregone conclusion that saintly saints will not be comfortable in the surroundings of the world, the flesh, or the devil.  They long for the moment when the promises of eternity are actualized.  Every moment up to that point is lived with that hope in mind.  Christ has been seated at “His right hand in heavenly places”; and Christ said: “Where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:3) Never allow yourself to be satisfied abiding in the confines of a depraved earth.  Come out from the world and be: “Separated unto Christ”. (Romans 1:1)

When Christ returns for His own, where will He find us?

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