Life with God in the Garden City

Open Your Bible

Isaiah 65:17-25, Revelation 2:7, Revelation 3:21, Revelation 21:1-4, Revelation 21:22, Revelation 22:1-5

We wash dishes by hand at our house. We are a big family, so it’s a bit of work, but after years of loading and unloading dishwashers only to find dirty dishes inside, it’s worth it for us. I have three sink basins; in the first I rinse, the second is filled with hot soapy water for washing, and the third has a special hot faucet for rinsing again. Above the sink, mounted to the wall, are four big drying racks. Everything smells like lemon and optimism. Once my dishes are shiny and dripping on the metal racks, a child has usually brought in one last bowl and spoon. After that, someone finds a stray coffee cup, and before my dishes have dried, the first sink is full again with ladles, milk glasses, and unnecessary straws.

Our work is never done on this side of heaven. Life is better when I don’t expect a full stop from things that do not stop. The dishes will never be done. The garden does not stay weeded. The beds need to be made every morning. It’s the same regardless of your station in life, the color of your skin, or the size of your bank account. Wealth does not bring happiness. Look at King Solomon in Ecclesiastes, who had limitless wealth, massive power, hundreds of women, and access to any imaginable pleasure the world had to offer. And yet his conclusion, after wearing out every fleshly gratification he could think of, was that it’s all vanity, all just wind and nothing. “All things are wearisome, more than anyone can say” (Ecclesiastes 1:8). And if that guy, with all his resources, realized that our hope is not found under the sun, do you think that you’re going to discover something different?

Now, don’t misunderstand me, the fresh glory of a sunrise over mountains and the squishy skin of a new baby and the arms of my husband all hold a true and inexpressible joy for me. The beauty of the world and its people is for our joy. But none of it will satisfy our deepest longings. None of it will make us complete. In the world, no matter how much we love the smell of lemon, there will always be dishes to wash, and our favorite ones will continue to break, and our dogs will die, and our houses will burn, and we will bury everyone we love until they bury us.

But there is a land where there is no death, no sickness, no depravity, and no shame. And, boy, I hope we will see our pets, because there’s a good girl I sure wish I could see again. We will lay down our tools and run home, into the arms of our Father. He has promised us this: “Look, God’s dwelling is with humanity, and he will live with them. They will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them and will be their God” (Revelation 21:3).

One day, in the new heaven and new earth, God will dwell with His people as He did in the beginning. We were created for life in our holy God’s presence. Our sin keeps us from coming close to Him. But He comes to us and brings us home. There we find our settled rest, not like guests or strangers, but like a child who is truly home (Psalm 23).

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45 thoughts on "Life with God in the Garden City"

  1. Casey Stewart says:

    ❤️

  2. Justina Robinson says:

    ❤️

  3. Sophia Ayres says:

    “If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.” -C.S. Lewis

    ”And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these…But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.“
    ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭6‬:‭28‬-‭29‬, ‭33‬ ‭ESV‬‬

    1. Susan Mitchell says:

      ❤️

  4. Karen Breaux says:

  5. Char Hight says:

    Nothing on this side will ever satisfy us. Knowing what awaits us gives me peace and comfort. No more disappointment, no more pain and sickness, no more laboring without fruit. And to think, the beauty I see when I’m at a beach or other beautiful place in nature are not even a 1/4 of the beauty that awaits us in heaven. ❤️

  6. Bess Helt says:

    Amen!

  7. Amber Brown says:

    Love this Rebecca!

  8. Kendra C says:

    One of the most painful, but loving, lessons God has taught me the past several years is that I was made to worship Him. Nothing on this planet will satisfy that desire and I look forward to an eternity with my Father

    1. Jade Gaines says:

      I agree! This particular chapter reminds me of the book Crazy Love by Francis Chan. Being a woman after God’s heart makes you feel a different longing. Yes we are in connection and relationship with God and we know the Holy Spirit dwells in us, but I want to touch Jesus and laugh and smile with Him face to face!

  9. Aly P says:

    Praise God!

  10. Natasha R says:

    I can only imagine ❤️❤️❤️

  11. Taylor Graves says:

    After losing my daughter the readings from today really gave me so much comfort. In the new heavens “a nursing infant will no longer live only a few days” (Isaiah 65:20) and “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; grief, crying, and pain will be no more…” (Revelations 21:4). This is so comforting to hear after going through such a tragic loss. These things I am feeling now will one day be gone because God will wipe them away. I don’t have to worry about these earthly things because they will disappear and a new life of pure joy will take their place. Amazing.

  12. Tricia C says:

    Yes! Hallelujah!

  13. Jennifer Anapol says:

    How often I expect this earth to satisfy me and bring me the joy that only God can. This side of heaven will never be perfect , and I pray I would stop expecting it to be. I’m so happy that one day we will have a perfect home and a perfect body❤️

  14. Adrienne says:

    If you are reading this right now (2:00-ish, central), please pray for success and peace. There has been a team of Off-grid electricians at my house since Monday, and they are getting ready to flip the switch! Thank you!

  15. Kim Buttonberry says:

    Can I just say- I can’t wait to see the Tree of Life! 12 kinds of fruit? Wow!

    I mean, after experiencing being in the very presence of the Almighty, then to see what the perfection in Creation will be, it’s very exciting to me as a gardener. Spring has finally set-in here in my neck of the woods. I’m always surprised at how seeing new things sprout and bloom helps my winter-weary heart. How much more will my sin-weary heart be helped and healed when I reach my heavenly destination? (Plus I have a few furry ‘good girls’ that I hope are there, too.)

    Such wonderful things to think about today as I work. Thank you for your prayers for my friends, too. You all are the best!!

  16. autumn moran says:

    Today’s reading gave me so much hope! So excited!!

  17. Kris says:

    There are days when I just want to go to heaven now. And there are days when I don’t want to go to heaven yet. I am so thankful that no matter what we have going on in this world, there will be a time when we won’t remember the bad stuff, we won’t feel the pain. I do look forward with joy to the day I finally get to meet Jesus face to face, and enter that forever peaceful environment. But I want to live today too. I want joy and peace now, on this earth, today. I don’t want to wait for all the good in some distant time. I am finally learning that there is joy and peace in this life on earth – when I fully trust in God’s goodness, when I obey His precepts, when I live in a manner that pleases God, when I stop thinking the way the world thinks, and let God’s word implant a new way of thinking, when I value the things of heaven more than the things of earth. I do long for the day when my labor will stop, and I can truly enjoy the new heaven and new earth. But while I’m still here, I want to enjoy the goodness of God in the things He’s given me to enjoy.

  18. Traci Gendron says:

    Revelations 22:1-5 Sums it all up. How glorious it will be!

  19. Allison Bentley says:

    After reading Isaiah 65 I thought- I want the new creation now, then I remembered it is already happening now! Father God, soften our hearts, make us new each day! Help me to live each day with You at the center! I believe You satisfy my soul and I just want my sisters here and everyone I meet to know the love of your son Jesus!! Happy Friday She’s! Sending ☮️❤️ to you all!!

  20. Cheryl Blow says:

    In the devotional, I love the picture of laying down our tools and running home into the arms of our Father! What a beautiful picture of Heaven!

    Thanks for sharing the old song “What a day that will be!” I usually wake with a song in my heart for the day. This will be the one! What a day! I love my cb life here but there is an increasing longing for more than this world can give! Heaven!

  21. Annie says:

    True Paradise

  22. Claire B says:

    ♥️ Ah, Rebecca, you always bring light and hope♥️

  23. Mari V says:

    ….the past events will not be remembered or come to mind. Oh what a day that will be!! Perhaps today! Happy Friday sweet She’s! Lots going on today and tomorrow. Meeting our future TK students today and I CAN’T WAIT!!! TOMORROW we celebrate a dear, dear friend from our school who went HOME last week, losing her battle with cancer BUT gaining her NEW LIFE with our precious JESUS.

  24. Maria Baer says:

    Sisters— thee Lord is awesome! I wanted to give you an update because some of you sent prayers, but for a month or so now I was going to interviews for a job I’ve been praying and yesterday I accepted the offer! My current job offers no work life balance because it’s so stressful, that unfortunately my husband is the one who pays. I barely see him because I leave early for work, and when I come home I’m so exhausted that all I do is go to bed. And he is incredibly amazing and understanding about it. I thank the Lord for giving me the awareness that something bad to change.

    I’ve been praying and God has blessed me with a new role that I can work mostly from home, and that can take away the biggest stressor I currently have professionally. I have never prayed for a job like this because it was not just about my comfort but about my marriage. It’s crazy how work life can creep into every area of your life, if not careful. Anyway, thank you all for the prayers and Thank you, Jesus!

  25. Laura Dianne says:

    Some days I would just like to dream about heaven and how wonderful it will be to live with our Savior. I get so discouraged sometimes about the sin and brokenness or this world. But then I think of the people I love who are not following Him. And I shake out of it and thank God that He hasn’t come yet, because I want more people to know Him.

    From HRT this morning: “Jesus is coming again, so we need to act like it.” Yes, God’s presence will dwell full-time with His people again. In the meantime, however, we’re called to share His presence with others so they can come to know Him as well. Our eternity with God’s presence started the day we accepted Jesus’s offer of salvation. And we still need to live like it.

  26. Cee Gee says:

    TINA – re: temple. Same reaction here! ❤

    SEARCHING – I was thinking of sharing that song! Storming heaven for you, sweet sister!!!❤❤❤

    JULIA C and KELLY NEO – ❤

  27. Adrienne says:

    KELLY (NEO) and all other sweet sisters that prayed for a successful surgery… Sharon’s “skull replacement” (eeek!) went well yesterday. Thanks for your prayers. Recovery time and a recovery plan was unknown last night, please continue to pray, but for her healing plan and associated time frame. Thank you.

    On a side note… I am so glad it is Friday. (We won’t have to have that focus when the new heaven comes. Woohoo!)

  28. Kim Mullins says:

    Oh Julia! I have always love that quote by CS Lewis. This world is not our home. I have always felt that there was something more. Like a longing or an emptiness. But when I read this quote it all made sense. We were not meant to live on Earth like this. We were meant to live with our Father.

  29. Taylor says:

    Come, Lord Jesus, come. So thankful that we already have the Holy Spirit living in us so we get to experience the start of our eternity here on earth. Our eternity with Jesus began the day we accepted Him as our Savior!

    I hope everyone has a good weekend <3 I would appreciate prayers for my knee as I have to officiate a college game today. It's feeling much better but still not 100%. Thank you sisters!

    1. Kim Mullins says:

      Amen! Taylor!

  30. Sarah D. says:

    Happy Friday ladies!! Loved the devotional today. Praise God that we will spend eternity with him. No more tears, no more pain. Thank you Lord for being with us now, your Spirit living in us,conforming us more into your likeness. Teach us your way and give us an undivided heart. May we praise you with our lives, because of who You are!!
    Would love your prayers ladies…my “friend” from church invited me to a worship night with him and his friends this past Sunday, and I went!! He is very close and intentional with his friends, and I feel like that was a big sign that he is interested because he invited just me to join them. Please pray for wisdom and to keep trusting God, if he would have this continue. Also please pray for my friend who we thought at one point he liked her…I texted her about it last night, and I just pray she doesn’t have any hurt feelings (he hasn’t asked me out yet though, so nothing is unofficial, but I have had a feeling,,). She said before she’s not interested or uninterested, so I just pray if something does come of this, I can be a good friend. I know how it feels to be on the other side of a friend getting into a relationship. Thank you so much in advance for your prayers!! Seems like a trivial thing to ask for prayer about, but a relationship has been on my heart a lot this year. May the Lord take it where he wants to, and may it be for his glory. Love you all!

  31. Searching says:

    Yes, sisters, what hope! Overwhelming to think about.

    JULIA C – ❤️ a line from that song reminded me once again of a song learned in that little country church …
    What a day that will be,
    When my Jesus I shall see,
    And I look upon His face,
    The One who saved me by His grace;
    When He takes me by the hand,
    And leads me through the Promised Land,
    What a day, glorious day that will be.

    There’ll be no sorrow there,
    No more burdens to bear,
    No more sickness, no more pain,
    No more parting over there;
    But forever I will be,
    With the One who died for me,
    What a day, glorious day that will be.
    Written by Jim Hill, 1955

    KIM BUTTONBERRY – praying for Lisa and Teresa
    KRIS – praying for your son’s salvation
    ANNA LEONOR – praying for your dad
    MIA FAITH ❤️
    CEE GEE ❤️

    Prayer request for wisdom, guidance and grace for the several meetings scheduled today regarding elderly relative (and for their improvement in rehab). Thank you, sisters.

    1. Kim Mullins says:

      Also do you remember the?”One day I will”?

  32. Aimee D-R says:

    Oh Father how cling to this life and yet long for eternity with You. Come, Lord Jesus, come.

  33. Ada McCloud says:

    Peace. What hope is in this lesson today!

  34. Cat-tee says:

    Praying along with all of you Shes – happy Friday❣️

  35. Kelly (NEO) says:

    TINA – amen and amen

    JULIA C – wonderful prayer – thank you

    “They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads” (Rev. 22:4).

    I will see Your face, Father, and live. I will see the Lamb, slain from the foundation of the world.

    I often wonder if, like Aaron and the high priest who came after him, if what will be written on my forehead will be “Holy to the Lord” (Ex. 28:36-38).

    ANNA LEONOR – praying for your dad. Hope you got good news yesterday

    KIM BUTTONBERRY – prayers for your friend Lisa in her grief walk and for Teresa

    ADRIENNE – praying Sharon’s surgery went smoothly

  36. Julia C says:

    What a hope you give us, Lord! Almost impossible to imagine, but as C.S. Lewis says:
    “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”

    Dear Father,

    One day, You will bring us home.
    One day, we will dwell with You —not just for a while, but for eternity.
    One day, we will live in Your holy presence —not as guests or strangers, but as Your children.
    One day, You will give us rest and satisfy our deepest longings.

    Hallelujah, what a day that will be!

    On that day, we will see You, shining brighter than the sun.
    On that day, we will know You, as we lift our voice as one.
    ‘Til that day, we will praise You for your never-ending grace.
    We will keep on singing on that glorious day…
    (From the song: On that day, by CityAlight)

    Until then…

    Give us the patience to endure the sufferings of this world, knowing we do not grieve in vain.
    May we find joy in the gifts that you are already giving us now.
    May we find satisfaction in Your presence and Your promises.
    And above all, may we praise You and bring You glory.

    AMEN.

    1. Pamela Carnemolla-Dihmes says:

      ♥️

  37. Mary Ann Graves says:

    Our true home in Heaven!

  38. Tina says:

    REBECCA FAIRES.. I love you dear sister!

    Today’s readings had me tearing, as each to me, was a joy-filled, hope-giving, faith re-building, uplifting, and foreward looking. I was actually overwhelmed by the Good news, which I have read numerous times before, but clearly, not seen or read in this light!

    Revelation 21:22, had me sitting up though,.

    I did not see a temple in the city, because ITS TEMPLE IS THE LORD GOD ALMIGHTY AND THE LAMB.

    Yesterday, we talked about OUR bodies being the ‘temple’ in which Our father dwells.. this verse has me thinking, in the new heaven, God and the Lamb will be the temple for us, we will live with and in God and the Lamb! Living in ALL that pure goodness, everyday.. OMG..

    Breathe, Tina, breathe!

    BUT GOD..

    Thank you Lord God, that You give me rest, and peace, and hope here on earth, as I walk with You..
    Praising you, also, Father God, for the days to coming, when life will look and feel so very different to what we know now,
    I am super excited for that day, but for now, I will live my days here on earth, living as if heaven was already here by His grace.

    AMEN.

    Happy Friday, dear She’s, most definitely covered in love, hugs and prayers, in response to requests and a good day for all.❤️