In The Good Old Summertime

About the middle of June on a warm summer day, thousands of children wait with anticipation. They anxiously watch the slow ticking clock. Somewhere in the background, a teacher’s voice drones on and on. They do not hear the words as they wait expectantly for The moment to arrive. The moment when they will all experience the euphoria of “Summer Vacation.”

I grew up in the San Fernando Valley in the ’60’s and early ’70’s. The “Valley” at that time was suburbia at its finest. The streets were safe and clean, the schools were safe, and there was no such thing as gang violence. Most of us had dads that worked and moms that were home. The “Valley” in the sixties was the hub of many a western movie, especially Roy Rodgers and Gene Autry. Life, as a child, was good, simple, and fun.

The day after school got out I would bug my mom to drive me to the local library. She usually dropped me off as I would spend hours searching for just he right books for my summer reading. I would check out 8 books each week (the maximum you were allowed to check out) and take them home. I would settle myself on my bed, or out in yard on a blanket if the house was too hot, and read to my heart’s content. When I finished my pile of books, I would return to the library and choose some more.

During my childhood, summer was play time. We would gather near the home of April Showers (that was her real name) and play baseball, dodge ball, and football. When it got too hot we would go to my house where my mom always had home-made Popsicles in the freezer made with a plastic Tupperware set and Kool-aid.

Once a week we were allowed to go to the local pool to swim for the afternoon. Admission was 25 cents which seemed like a lot of money to me then. Our pool had a high dive which was my favorite. I loved the excitement of jumping off that high tower and feeling the pit of your stomach lurch up into your throat. Once you came up for air though you always had to dig your swimsuit out of certain places but it was worth the “rush.”

Summer vacation seemed to last forever. Next to Christmas, it was the best time of the year. But September always came. Nine long months we had to wait until summer came again.

As good as summer was, it pales in comparison to what Heaven will be like for those who know Jesus. Revelation 21:2-4 talks about the New Jerusalem which is a picture of what Heaven eaven will be like.

“And I saw the holy city, the New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a beautiful bride prepared for her husband. I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, the home of God is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will remove all of their sorrows, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. For the old world and its evils are gone forever.” Rev 21:2-4

The endless joys of summer vacation cannot compare to spending eternity with God and having the joy of living with Him. Hebrews 12 describes heaven as the “city of the living God,” where there are “thousands of angles in joyful assembly.”

Christian artists, MercyMe, have written a powerful song about the day we arrive in heaven.

I can only imagine
What it will be like
When I walk
By Your side
I can only imagine
What my eyes will see
When Your face
Is before me
I can only imagine

Surrounded by Your glory, what will my heart feel
Will I dance for You Jesus or in awe of You be still
Will I stand in Your presence or to my knees will I fall
Will I sing hallelujah, will I be able to speak at all
I can only imagine

I can only imagine
When that day comes
And I find myself
Standing in the Son
I can only imagine
When all I will do
Is forever
Forever worship You
I can only imagine

We can only imagine what that day will be like. But I imagine that it will be an endless summer vacation in the presence of the living God!

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