Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.
Revelation 22:1-2a (NIV)
Three times a week I get a phone call from Storii.com. The robo-lady asks me a random question and then gives me ten minutes to answer. The recordings are then stored on my personal Storii page where family and friends who have their own Storii account can listen. It’s a brilliant idea. I wish I had recordings of my grandparents and great-grandparents to hear their own personal stories in their own voices. How I would love to hear those voices again.
One of the questions that Storii asked me a few weeks ago was the time in my life that I felt most alive. As I have found to be the case with many of Storii’s questions, I had multiple answers. I shared some of them on the recording.
One of the periods I felt most alive is not deemed acceptable to some. It was a period of time after my divorce. Please don’t read what I’m not writing. I consider the failure of my first marriage and all my mistakes that personally contributed to its demise to be the biggest failure of my life (thus far that is, technically I have time and opportunity to top it). I found divorce to be a terrible, death-like experience complete with those who chose to bury their relationships with me.
What I discovered in profound ways after the divorce was the truth of Corrie Ten Boom’s words: “There is no pit so deep, that God’s love is not deeper still.” Out of the ashes of my marital failure, seeds of new life began to germinate.
But that’s what God does. I wrote it yesterday: Death-to-Life is the meta-theme of the Great Story. I don’t follow the God of death. I follow the God of resurrection, redemption, forgiveness, grace, and love.
Today’s chapter is the end of the Great Story. It’s the last chapter in the 39 book volume, and guess where it ends? It ends back at the beginning. John’s vision reveals that the city he began to describe in yesterday’s chapter contains “the river of life” just like the Garden of Eden (Gen 2:10), and on either side of the river stands the Tree of Life just like the Garden of Eden. There is no more curse of sin just like in the Garden of Eden.
The end is the beginning.
The Pheonix rises.
“Ashes-to-ashes” becomes “ashes-to-Life.”
To paraphrase Corrie: “There ain’t no grave so deep…”
We’ve reached the end. Tomorrow, I begin again.
If you know anyone who might be encouraged by today’s post, please share.