Monday, February 22, 2010

The Ultimate Vacation

Anticipation. We've all experienced it. Whether it's looking forward to graduation or counting down the days until we get to see that special someone, our lives are filled with anticipation. My American Heritage Dictionary defines the root word 'anticipate,' as follows, "to look forward to, especially with pleasure; expect." I think I embodied this definition when my husband let me know that we would have the opportunity to head to the beautiful island of Maui.

Friends had vacationed on this lovely island and had shared pictures of its fantastic beauty. Because of the distance to travel and the high cost of airfare, we had never seriously considered Hawaii as a vacation destination. All of that changed, when Steve's company offered a trip to Maui for those employees who reached a certain percentage over their quota. Not only did the trip cover expenses for the employee, but also the employee's spouse! With God miraculously working out every detail, we began anticipating a big Hawaiian adventure.

We purchased a couple of highly recommended guide books and began researching the island and potential activities. What temperatures could we expect? What clothes should we take? Should we purchase our own snorkel gear? Was bug spray a necessity? We made mental notes of all the 'must do' activities that our friends recommended. We began getting everything in order for our trip and started counting down the days.

Steve downloaded several gorgeous pictures of Maui and we even found some Hawaiian music on-line that served to heighten our anticipation of this once-in-a-lifetime dream vacation. After several weeks of planning, we had a fairly good idea of what the island would be like and what to expect. The departure date finally arrived and we boarded our plane.

In spite of our research and preparation, all I can say is that experiencing the reality of Maui with my family far exceeded anything I anticipated! Our view from the ninth floor of the Grand Wailea was absolutely breath-taking. Facing the ocean, our room boasted a clear view of Molokini Crater and the island of Lana'i. With whale season in its prime, it wasn't uncommon to see majestic displays of breaching and tail slapping. Sunny skies and beautiful landscaping completed the glorious picture.

What an incredible reminder of the believer's ultimate destination - heaven! We hear about heaven and think about what it must be like. We anticipate being with our Savior, Jesus Christ, but our anticipation will pale in comparison to the reality of our Lord and the place He's prepared for us! The apostle John gives us some noteworthy glimpses of heaven, "And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband" (Revelation 21:2, KJV). Can you imagine anything more beautiful than a wedding? And more specifically, a gorgeously arrayed bride prepared for her husband?

John goes on to tell us some incredible things about our God, "And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away" (Revelation 21:3-4). Wow! Can you imagine the reality of living with God! Here on earth His Holy Spirit dwells within us, but in heaven we'll be face to face with our Creator! I can only imagine...No tears, no death, no sorrow, no pain. The reality of heaven will far surpass all that we can anticipate.

The presence of God will be paramount. The beauty of heaven, unequaled. A city of pure gold, with streets of gold, the foundations of the wall of the city elaborately decorated with every kind of precious stone imaginable, twelve pearl gates (Revelation 21:18, 19, 21). Can you see it? The reality of it will be so much grander than anything we can imagine!

Anticipating our vacation was nothing in comparison to experiencing Maui. How awe-inspiring to realize that the beautiful pictures John paints for us in the book of Revelation are a mere shadow of what awaits us inside the portals of heaven. Begin anticipating your 'ultimate vacation' today, knowing that what God has planned for you in heaven will far-surpass all of your wildest dreams!


  1. Hi Maria -

    You did a wonderful job communicating your anticipation of this trip. When facing the giants in our lives, the anticipation of heaven can help us endure these light trials for a season.

    Susan :)

  2. Your trip sounded amazing! And I love how you wrapped it around Heaven and John's vision of it. I hope you returned refreshed!

  3. What an awesome trip! Glad you had a good time. And what a great analogy, too.
    Thanks and blessings,

  4. Susan - Thanks for your kind words! I definitely agree that anticipating heaven helps us to endure our trials! Looking forward to visiting your blog this week! God bless!

    Jill - It was an unbelievably remarkable and refreshing trip! I think my husband is ready to go back!! Looking forward to catching up with you! Have a blessed day!

    Karen - I couldn't agree more - 'awesome' comes close to summing it up! Looking forward to checking in with you at your website!

  5. What a wonderful memory making experience:) Thanks for sharing your holiday fun and reminding us of the great destination we can anticipate in heaven!

  6. Dorothy - I'd love to hear about your holiday experiences. From the photos you posted on fb, it looked truly spectacular! Hard to imagine that heaven will be even better!! God bless you!

  7. Maria, that sounds like an awesome trip! I hope my anticipation for Heaven/Jesus is as strong as my anticipation for earthly things. Thanks for the reminder of what I have to look forward to! :-)

  8. Jessica - It's so easy to focus on the here-and-now isn't it? What's in store for us in heaven is beyond anything we can imagine! Reminds me of 1 Cor. 2:9 "But as 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" (KJV). God bless you!!